Hearts duo Arnaud Djoum and Aaron Hughes to miss Saints trip

Arnaud Djoum suffered an ankle knock in training
Arnaud Djoum suffered an ankle knock in training
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Hearts are set to remain without key duo Arnaud Djoum and Aaron Hughes for tomorrow’s high-stakes showdown with St Johnstone.

Cameroon midfielder Djoum missed the 5-0 defeat by Celtic on Sunday with an ankle problem and is deemed unlikely to be fit enough to return for the trip to McDiarmid Park to face Saints, who sit two points above the Tynecastle side in the battle for fourth place and a possible Europa League slot.

Aaron Hughes is nursing a calf injury

Aaron Hughes is nursing a calf injury

“Arnaud took a knock on his lower ankle in training on Friday so we’re just assessing that to see if it requires a scan once the swelling goes down,” head coach Ian Cathro told the Evening News. “It would look unlikely just now that he’ll be available for St Johnstone.”

Hughes has been sidelined by a calf problem since the Scottish Cup defeat by Hibs in February and the 37-year-old defender is set to remain absent for tomorrow’s match in Perth and Saturday’s home game against Dundee. The influential Northern Irishman could be available for the trip to Kilmarnock on Friday week. “Aaron won’t be ready for St Johnstone either,” said Cathro. “He’s still managing a muscular injury. He’ll be out for the next two games and, after that, we need to assess it and make sure he’s fully fit and ready to return.”

Left-backs Faycal Rherras and Juwon Oshaniwa are both fit despite being left out of the match-day squad against Celtic.