HEARTS’ Edinburgh derby joy was tempered today by the news that they could lose Ryan Stevenson for several weeks through injury.
The midfielder has suspected ligament damage in his right knee and was due to have a scan today, with manager Gary Locke conceding that the early prognosis is not good.
Stevenson sustained the injury in a tackle with Hibs’ Rowan Vine early in yesterday’s Edinburgh derby at Tynecastle, which Hearts won 1-0 through Callum Paterson’s second-half header. Vine appeared to go over the top of the ball before connecting with Stevenson, but was not punished by referee Craig Thomson. Stevenson tried to continue after twice going down, but was eventually substituted.
“He’s got a bad one and we’ll know more later today,” said Locke. “It certainly doesn’t look like he’ll be fit in the foreseeable future, which is a huge blow. We haven’t got a lot of experience in the team and to lose Ryan, who is a fantastic player, is going to be difficult for us. We’re suspecting ligament damage. What that means is it’s an opportunity for another young player and hopefully they can take it.”
On a more positive note, Locke was jubilant at winning the first home game of the season and cutting Hearts’ deficit at the bottom of the Scottish Premiership from 15 points to 12. “It was a huge win,” he said. “With the situation we’re in, no matter who we were playing, getting the first win was massive. It helps that it’s your biggest rivals as well. The fans have been through an awful lot over the summer and hopefully that’s a result that will keep them happy.”
Watching the match from the main stand was the Nottingham Forest manager Billy Davies. He had two offers for the Hearts midfielder Jason Holt rejected by the club’s administrators BDO last month, but remains keen on the 20-year-old. He will decide whether to return with another bid before the transfer window closes at the end of the month.