STEVIE CRAWFORD fears that he will be without his vice-captain Ryan Dow long-term with a suspected achilles injury.

The 29-year-old midfielder was stretchered off during Dunfermline's last home match, a 4-1 thumping of Raith Rovers, two weeks ago and saw a specialist last week.

Head coach Crawford revealed that Dow was due to have a further appointment yesterday (Wednesday) and will be awaiting news anxiously of how severe the injury is.

His expected lay-off helped prompt Dunfermline into securing a loan move for Craig Wighton, who had already signed a pre-contract to join at the end of the season, as Crawford explained earlier this week.

"Ryan Dow had an appointment with the specialist and he's got a further appointment this Wednesday as well," he said.

"I think Ryan's going to be out longer-term. I don't want to put a timescale on that at the moment until we find out from the specialists. It seems to be an issue with his achilles.

"He's been put into a moon boot for a week, the specialist will have a further look at it, and then we'll probably know more, hopefully later on this week."

Crawford, who will welcome Dom Thomas back into his squad for this Saturday's clash with Alloa Athletic after he missed their last three games following a positive COVID-19 test, also revealed that defender Lewis Martin is no closer to returning to action.

The versatile 24-year-old, who made 33 appearances last season, has not kicked a ball so far this term due to a troublesome issue in his foot.

"Lewis is still an ongoing process at the moment, which is very frustrating for Lewis," Crawford continued.

"It is what it is, and we'll try and keep him in a positive spirit.

"It's frustrating because we know what he can bring to the team. Sometimes, you face these challenges in football and, unfortunately, it's Lewis that's going through this at the moment.

"We can only support him, try and get to the root of the problem, and give him some light at the end of the tunnel to work towards and try and get back to full fitness."

Crawford, who said that recent signing Vytas Gašpuitis was available for selection, is looking forward to his team returning to action this weekend after their game with Dundee was snowed off.

The squad were put through their paces at the Oriam in Edinburgh on Saturday afternoon instead, with attention turning to a match with the team occupying bottom place in the league.

Although Dunfermline won 4-1 at the Indodrill Stadium in October, Alloa are unbeaten on their last six visits to East End, with Crawford wary of the threat they possess.

However, he wants a repeat of their last home outing from his side, which he felt was their best display of the campaign so far.

"Alloa are very much a possession-based team. They have players that are comfortable with the football, and cause you bother that way, and that's something we will be wary of," he continued.

"What we've got to make sure of is we stamp our authority and look no further back than the Raith Rovers game, in terms of the way we took the game to the Rovers, and take positives from that.

"It doesn't guarantee that we'll get a similar performance but that's what we'll be trying to replicate because I thought, over the course of the season, that's probably been, from start to finish, our best performance of the season so far.

"It will be a different game in terms of playing on the astroturf through at Alloa but it's a game we're very much looking forward to, and we've got to take confidence from the 4-1 victory earlier in the season."

Lewis McCann, who has picked up a slight groin issue in training, is a doubt for the weekend but, on the return of Thomas, the boss added: "Dom Thomas came back and trained with Jamie on the Friday as he had to go through a number of protocols to make sure, medically, he was fit and able to join the squad.

"He did a bit-part of training on the Saturday and he's fully trained Monday and Tuesday now. He's probably a wee bit off it in terms of his conditioning but Dom's a good trainer, he's a chirpy character and he'll be part of the squad at the weekend. He's a welcome addition back to the squad."