Double suspension blow for Hearts’ clash with Caley

Callum Paterson has been a key player for Hearts this term

Callum Paterson has been a key player for Hearts this term

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Hearts will be without Callum Paterson and Kevin McHattie for the trip to Inverness on February 15 as both players serve suspensions. Having accumulated six league bookings each this season, the pair are banned for one game each next month.

The Scottish Football Association confirmed McHattie’s ban takes effect from February 1 after he was cautioned against St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park recently. Paterson’s suspension kicks in on February 8 following his booking for dissent against Ross County at the weekend.

The bans mean the players are precluded from their club’s first league match after those dates, which means the fixture at the Caledonian Stadium on Saturday, February 15.

Manager Gary Locke is already without the injured winger Jamie Walker and is awaiting the return of midfielder Jason Holt. With a young squad which is already threadbare and carries several teenagers, he will be unhappy at losing two first-team regulars.