KILMARNOCK manager Lee Clark has admitted he might have to dive back into the transfer market yet again.

The Rugby Park boss has already added 17 players to his squad this season, but says injuries to young attacking pair Greg Kiltie and Dean Hawkshaw might mean he has to return to the market.

That is unless he can unearth a talented recruit from his academy set-up who is ready to step up and make an immediate impact as part of the first team squad.

Both Kiltie and Hawkshaw have already graduated from Killie’s youth set-up, but the 19-year-olds are now consigned to the treatment table.

Kiltie will sit out the remainder of the season after being sent for surgery on a hamstring complaint, while Hawkshaw is looking at a three-month absence after damaging knee ligaments.

Clark said: “Greg’s injury is a huge blow because he’s one of the best young players in the country.

“He’s been terrific since I’ve come to the club.

“It’s a big blow also on top of the news about Dean a couple of weeks earlier.

“We lost two players who have been doing very, very well for us. They have been influential even though they are young.

“That’s testing for us. We have to find a way of replacing them, either from our squad or, at this stage in the season, players who do not have a club.

“We brought a lot of players in [over] the summer but I’ve got to be on the lookout still because we’ve lost two lads who were a mainstay of our stand-out performance of the season against Rangers. They offer energy, awareness and the ability to make a goal for their team-mates, or to score themselves.

“When you lose those kind of players you have to look to see if there is anything else out there or if there is anyone already at the club.

“We’ve got young Jack Paterson but he’s only 16. He’s a terrific young player and he’s been on the bench against Aberdeen, but we have to decide when it is the right time to put him in.

“If we feel it’s not right we may look to sign someone, but I’ve got to balance things out.

“When you delve in that market who is to say those players will be ready? It can take six or seven weeks to get them fit.

“You can imagine it would be very difficult for them to make an impact in the next two or three games.”