The 19-year-old is still awaiting a work permit but the Evening News understands that the process is being fast-tracked and the player has an outside chance of involvement in Thursday night’s Scottish Cup fourth-round tie at home to Cove Rangers.
Maloney said: “Nothing has changed so far but we are hoping that within the next 24 hours it can change. If it doesn’t, then it’s okay.
"We have planned for both scenarios. If nothing happens within the next 24 hours then it won’t be too long after that.”
Maloney is excited about his options in the final third, with Christian Doidge back in contention and Chris Mueller getting up to speed with Scottish football.
The American winger was an unused substitute in Monday night’s defeat by Celtic but looks likely to be involved in the near future – possibly when Martin Boyle is away on international duty with Australia towards the end of the month.
Maloney admitted he would have to work on a solution for when the talisman was unavailable, but hinted that Melkersen and Mueller could well be in contention for filling the void.
However, he stressed the importance of allowing the teenager time to settle in a new country and different league.
“When Elias signed I spoke about that and said he was someone we would give time to adapt to the league and a different country,” Maloney explained.
"He is a very young boy. But we have very good options in that area. Christian looks like he is coming back to his very best form and we have Chris Mueller as well who is available for us.
"We have plenty of players for that position but what Martin brings is very specific attributes. There aren’t too many in our team or in the league who have his attributes so it is up to me to find the right solution when he does go away.”