Hearts manager Craig Levein has admitted that Steven Naismith could miss Monday’s Scottish Cup quarter-final with Partick Thistle.

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - FEBRUARY 10: Craig Levein, Manager of Hearts looks on prior to the Scottish Cup 5th Round match between Heart of Midlothian and Auchinleck Talbot at Tynecastle Stadium on February 10, 2019 in Edinburgh, Scotland

 (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

The on-loan striker only lasted until half-time of last night’s 2-1 defeat by Celtic and Levein isn’t sure whether his star man will be fit for the massive Scottish Cup tie.

“He’s had an operation obviously, a little bit of cartilage shaved off,” Levein said, as quoted by the Edinburgh Evening News.

“It was the same knee and it was irritating him, so I don’t know (if he’ll make Monday).”

20th January 2019, Tynecastle Park, Edinburgh, Scotland; Scottish Cup football fourth round, Heart of Midlothian versus Livingston; Referee William Collum speaks with Steven Naismith of Hearts about his slide tackle on Dolly Menga

(photo by Alan Rennie/Action Plus via Getty Images)

Naismith has been absolutely crucial for Hearts this season and it would be a blow if he was to miss any significant game-time.

There’s a slight blessing for Hearts in that they are playing a struggling Championship side so shouldn’t necessarily need Naismith.

If he does end up missing a number of games it would be a blow to the Jambos’ hopes of securing European football next season.

23rd October 2018, Dens Park, Dundee, Scotland; Ladbrokes Premiership football, Dundee versus Heart of Midlothian; Steven Naismith of Heart of Midlothian applauds the fans as he was substituted

(photo by David Young/Action Plus via Getty Images)

Naismith has scored eight times for Hearts so far this season but could leave Tynecastle in the summer.

His loan deal from Norwich ends in the summer – as well as his Norwich contract – but there’s no guarantees of a return.

Hearts have offered a new contract to the 32-year-old but a move to MLS is also a possibility.

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