Hearts defender Igor Rossi hit with suspension

Igor Rossi has been an ever-present in Hearts' defence this season

Igor Rossi has been an ever-present in Hearts' defence this season

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Hearts must do without centre-back Igor Rossi when they travel to Hamilton in two weeks’ time as the Brazilian will serve a one-match ban.

His booking against St Johnstone on Saturday was his sixth in the league and triggers an automatic suspension.

The Scottish Football Association have confirmed that Rossi must sit out the match at New Douglas Park on Monday, November 21 – Hearts’ first game after the current international break. He received a yellow card from referee Don Robertson after 77 minutes of Saturday’s 2-2 draw after fouling St Johnstone’s Blair Alston.

Rossi is a key component of the Hearts defence and has been an ever-present for the Edinburgh club domestically this season. He also played in three of their four Europa League qualifiers during the summer, scoring twice against Infonet in Estonia. His absence will almost certainly mean a recall for the Turkish centre-back Alim Ozturk. He has managed just three league appearances to date this season after losing his place in the side and then losing the captain’s armband to Perry Kitchen.

Asked about players who have had to wait for their chance at Tynecastle, head coach Robbie Neilson said: “Ozturk is having to be patient, Prince Buaben has had to be patient, so have others like Juwon Oshaniwa. It’s important that the guys wait for an opportunity, but it’s also important to be ready to come into the team. These guys will get game time because it’s a long season.”