Hearts defender Michael Smith faces eight weeks on the sidelines after it was confirmed that he has torn his thigh muscle.
The defender was injured during the Scottish Cup win over junior side Auchinleck Talbot and will now miss the quarter-final tie with Partick Thistle – as well as vital league games.
Jambos boss Craig Levein confirmed it will keep him out of action for a while and revealed the injury was more complicated than thought.
“It’s probably eight weeks we’re looking at,” Levein told the Edinburgh Evening Times.
“He has torn his tight muscle, it’s a grade two tear but there’s a bit of tendon damage as well so it’s a bit more complicated. It will keep him out for a fairly lengthy period of time.”
Smith has been one of Hearts’ most consistent performers over the course of the season and has helped them to fifth in the Scottish Premiership.
With only a handful seperating the Jam Tarts and third, losing Smith will be a massive blow.
Marcus Godinho seems like the obvious replacement for Smith and the Canadian international is a strong understudy to have.
Hearts haven’t had their troubles to seek with injuries this term and Smith’s is just the latest in a string which have disrupted their campaign.