St Mirren sign Bulgarian defender Viktor Genev

Viktor Genev in action for Levski Sofia
Viktor Genev began his career with Levski Sofia

St Mirren have confirmed the signing of 26-year-old central defender Viktor Genev after a successful trial.

The Bulgarian, who last played for Spartak Semey in the Kazakhstan top flight, has signed a contract until the end of the season.

Genev, capped at under-21s level, began his career with Levski Sofia before leaving for city rivals Slavia in 2010.

He joined Spartak in January 2014 and played 29 times during his year with the club as they suffered relegation.

Genev also had spells on loan during his career with Montana in Bulgaria, Russian club Krylia Sovetov and Ukrainian outfit Oleksandriya.

The Buddies have received international clearance for the defender to be available for Saturday's Scottish Premiership visit by Hamilton Academical.

Manager Gary Teale admitted that he might have to utilise Genev in the heart of defence immediately as Marc McAusland is struggling with a persistent knee problem.

"You have just got to throw him in and hope for the best," he admitted.

"I've seen enough of his ability in training to think he can do us a turn.

"He needs to hit the ground running because we can't really afford to gently ease his way in.

"He has got a good presence in both boxes. He has a hunger and determination.

"If Viktor sees it as a stepping stone, whether he ends up with a longer contract here or earns a move somewhere else, it could work out for everyone."

While McAusland could play on Saturday, midfielder Isaac Osbourne is definitely out.

"We have lost Isaac," Teale said. "He has been struggling with his ankle and its mobility since as far back as September since the Partick Thistle game.

"He was going in for an operation this morning. Hopefully it will be a speedy recovery, but he is probably looking six weeks at least."