Aberdeen wait for Scott Vernon surgery

Aberdeen striker Scott Vernon
Vernon is Aberdeen's leading scorer this season

Aberdeen may delay a likely hernia operation for striker Scott Vernon until the end of the season, if they reach the Scottish Cup final.

The Dons' top-scorer has played a bit-part in recent weeks ahead of Sunday's semi-final meeting with Celtic.

In the event of an Aberdeen defeat at Hampden, Vernon's surgery will probably be brought forward to free him to return for pre-season training.

Aberdeen are 15 points clear of bottom side Hamilton Accies.

Vernon, who has netted 15 times this season, appeared as a late substitute during Aberdeen's 1-0 home defeat to Hibernian on Saturday.

Defenders Zander Diamond (stomach) and David McNamee (hamstring) were not risked and Rory McArdle could be out for the season with a dislocated shoulder.

Yoann Folly, Darren Mackie and Fraser Fyvie are long-term absentees, while captain Paul Hartley is battling to recover from a knee injury.