Aberdeen hit hard by injury after Caley win

Aberdeen's 2-1 victory over Inverness Caley yesterday came at a price ahead of their UEFA Cup opener against Panathinaikos.

Aberdeen boss Jimmy Calderwood revealed Darren Mackie is a "massive doubt" for Thursday's UEFA Cup clash after suffering an ankle injury. Scott Severin also came off midway through the hard-fought victory, but the skipper should be fit for the Athens clash.

The Dons went ahead in the eighth minute when Derek Young's shot squirmed under Zibi Malkowski on his Clydesdale Bank Premier League debut, and Ross Tokely headed into his own net shortly after Dennis Wyness had headed his 100th goal for Caley Thistle.

Calderwood revealed Young and goalkeeper Jamie Langfield had overcome illness to play while striker Mackie's loss came on top of several other injury problems.

Michael Hart (illness), Chris Clark (Achilles), Jamie Smith (hamstring) and Andrew Considine (knock) all missed the win, which moved the Dons into sixth place in the table.

Calderwood said: "We were already missing four players who have started virtually every game this season and then Severin goes off and Mackie goes off - that's six big, big players for us.

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"Langfield was ill, Derek was ill, so it's a massive result. Looking towards Thursday I would think Severin will be okay, Clark hopefully okay, Hart, Considine should be okay but Smith and Mackie are massive doubts. Severin got a kick in the hamstring and it stiffened up and Darren, someone stood on his ankle and twisted it.

"It's very sad for us because away from home in any game, but definitely a European game, with his aggression and pace, he is a very important player for us. It's a big blow."

Calderwood felt there was room for improvement but was delighted to secure the points with an under-strength side.

The Dons boss said: "We started the game probably the best we have started at Inverness, we were dominating play, creating chances and Derek scored a wonderful goal. And then we started getting sloppy. But you know it's always going to be difficult here, big Craig (Brewster) has come in and they have taken a big lift from it.

"We lost it and never got it back, they were in the ascendancy and got the goal which they deserved and we got a breakaway and won the game. But with so many players out, it's a great win for us."

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