Gary Locke faces anxious wait on Kevin McHattie

Kevin McHattie. Picture: SNS

Kevin McHattie. Picture: SNS

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HEARTS manager Gary Locke faces an anxious wait to learn whether left-back Kevin McHattie will be fit to face St Johnstone. The 20-year-old has a hamstring injury and is rated doubtful for his club’s first match of the new Scottish Premiership season on Sunday.

Locke will give McHattie until tomorrow before making a final decision on his team for the trip to McDiarmid Park. His squad is thin on potential replacements with Hearts in administration and unable to register any new players.

Captain Danny Wilson is the most likely to be asked to fill in at left-back, where he played several times for Hearts whilst on loan from Liverpool last season. Another option
for Locke would be to start 17-year-old Jordan McGhee, although he has made just one competitive appearance to date.

The manager remains hopeful of having McHattie available. “He’s got a chance of playing. It’s a wee hamstring problem so we’ll assess it in the next 24 hours,” said Locke. “You don’t want to risk him and lose him for four or five games. We’ve got the results of the scan, which are favourable, so we’ll wait and see how he is and make a decision 
tomorrow.

“There are two or three boys who can play in that position. I’d rather keep their names quiet because I don’t want St Johnstone thinking they know who is going to play there. We have options for left-back. We don’t have a huge squad so it will just be a case of somebody filling in.”