Hearts were always going to be underdogs going into the Scottish Cup Final against Celtic. Now a new revelation from manager Craig Levein has made a difficult task even harder.

Levein has admitted to the Herald that he ‘doesn’t think’ that striker Steven Naismith will return in time from a knee operation to take part in the final.

Hasn’t took part in training

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

Levein also revealed that Naismith has yet to take part in full training. With the final less than three weeks away, it is understandable why the manager thinks Naismith may miss the game.

The potential absence of is a huge blow to Hearts, ahead of their first Scottish Cup Final in seven years. It was always going to be tough for Naismith to make the game following a knee operation.

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

Absence could affect other striker

Now Hearts seem likely to go into the game without one of their best players. Naismith’s likely absence could also mean that Uche Ikpeazu is not seen again until the cup final.

(Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

The striker suffered a hamstring injury in the recent 1-0 loss to Kilmarnock. Levein have need to consider resting the player until the final to ensure that he is fit for the match.

Taking on Celtic without one main attacker would be difficult enough. But if Ikpeazu was to miss the final as well it would make a difficult task even harder to achieve.


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