HEARTS were dealt yet another injury blow today with the news that 19-year-old right-back Fraser Mullen has damaged ankle ligaments and is likely to miss Sunday’s League Cup final.
The player’s ankle is badly swollen as a result of a block tackle on Hibs winger Matt Done during the weekend’s Edinburgh derby at Easter Road. The injury forced Mullen off after 38 minutes and may now preclude him from a first major final appearance at Hampden Park against St Mirren.
Hearts medical staff are still waiting for swelling to fully subside before giving an exact diagnosis on the injury but Gary Locke, the club’s interim manager, is concerned that the news may not be good.
“He’s got a bad one,” explained Locke. “He went to make a tackle and it’s his ankle ligaments so we’ll assess him again. Hopefully it’s not as bad as what we think but it’s very badly swollen. We’ll need to have a look at him and see how he is. It was a block tackle and the ankle has swollen up. Possibly he’s doubtful but it’s too early to tell at this minute. Fraser has done really well this season and was unfortunate to come off.”
On a more positive note, Locke declared himself relatively satisfied with the 0-0 draw against Hibs following last week’s 2-0 win over St Johnstone. “I’m pleased with four points out of the last six,” he said. “The derby wasn’t a great spectacle with the way pitches are all over the place at the moment but in terms of battling and working hard, I thought we did that brilliantly. I’d like to have seen us a wee bit better in the final third of the pitch. Derbies are all about competing and winning second balls and I thought we did that really well.”