Gary Locke in a sweat over injured Hearts pair

Callum Paterson has picked up an ankle injury. Picture by JANE BARLOW
Callum Paterson has picked up an ankle injury. Picture by JANE BARLOW
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HEARTS will discover the seriousness of injuries to Callum Paterson and Billy King this week, with manager Gary Locke praying that neither is consigned to a lengthy absence from the team.

Callum Paterson and Billy King this week, with manager Gary Locke praying that neither is consigned to a lengthy absence from the team.

Paterson was forced off after 55 minutes of Saturday’s defeat at Motherwell having gone over on his ankle. He was due to be assessed by physios at Riccarton today with Locke fearing he had suffered a “bad one”.

King watched the match from the stand with his foot in a brace due to a niggling problem with the sole. He could return to training later in the week if the injury subsides with rest.

With Kevin McHattie 
absent at Fir Park because of illness, Locke could only lament the problems he is facing at present. Motherwell came from behind to win 2-1 at the weekend to leave Hearts 13 points adrift at the bottom of the 
Scottish Premiership.

“That’s the way things are happening for us at the moment,” Locke told the Evening News. “Billy has a foot injury. It’s a wee problem with the sole of his foot. It’s getting worse each day with the more impact he puts on it so I think the only cure is rest. Hopefully that will settle down over the next few days.

“Our physio is hoping that just a few days off it will see it settle down. It’s like a bruise. If you keep hitting it, then it won’t get any better. We had to leave him out on Saturday and hopefully he’ll be back training at some point during the week.

“We’ll wait and see how Callum settles down and the physio will look at him as well. Hopefully it’s not too serious but it certainly looked like a bad one when he went over on his ankle.

“We lost Kevin McHattie to illness on Saturday morning so it certainly wasn’t ideal preparation. He’d been sick all night so we assessed him at Riccarton before we left and there was no way he could play.”

Locke was disappointed with Hearts’ defending at Shaun Hutchinson’s headed winner on Saturday but encouraged by the performances of Brad McKay and substitute Scott Robinson.

“I thought it was a scrappy first half but I thought we started on the front foot in the second half and moved the ball quicker certainly than what we did against St Mirren. I’m very annoyed at how we lost the second goal, though.

“I’ve said all along that boys are going to take a dip in from with them being so young. Brad was out for a couple of games and he’s come in and responded brilliantly. Scott’s done the same.”