Hearts go into this weekend’s Betfred Cup clash without Steven Naismith after the veteran striker picked up a hamstring injury – and the former Rangers star is in danger of becoming an expensive white elephant for the Jambos.
Naismith ended the most protracted transfer of the summer when he finally signed a permanent deal to join Hearts following his Norwich release – but he’s already spent more time in the treatment room than on the pitch.
After missing a hefty chunk of game-time last season with recurring knee injuries, and having a history of knee problems anyway, Naismith’s signing was always going to come with an element of risk.
Manager Craig Levein insists this latest injury isn’t “significant,” according to the Daily Record, but it’s yet more time injured from a player who is integral to any success the Jambos have.
Hearts haven’t exactly had a lot of luck with players returning from injury and being rushed too soon – Peter Haring has been on the sidelines for months after being rushed for the Scottish Cup final – and it wouldn’t be a surprise if the same happens with (or even already has) with Naismith.
If it ends up with the Jambos being without the veteran for a considerable period of time for the second season in a row then the decision to hand him a long-term contract is going to look utterly farcical.