Hearts’ Jamie Hamill and Callum Paterson pick up knocks

Manuel Pascali battles with Hearts' Callum Paterson

Manuel Pascali battles with Hearts' Callum Paterson

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Gary Locke is hoping the injuries that forced key men Jamie Hamill and Callum Paterson off in Hearts’ defeat by Kilmarnock on Saturday won’t cause them to miss any more action.

Both players were substituted early on in the second half of the 4-2 loss at Rugby Park, with Paterson in pain after being clattered in the first half and Hamill limping off as a knee problem he has been suffering with of late started to take its toll.

Locke was due to get a better idea of the duo’s wellbeing today, but with Hearts’ next game not until a week on Friday, when Dundee United visit Tynecastle, the manager is optimistic that they will both be available for selection.

“Hamill’s had a wee problem with his knee and he was feeling it a wee bit on Saturday, so we felt it was best to take him off and get someone on who was fully fit,” said Locke.

“Paterson was injured as well. He took a knock on his hip in the first half and he was struggling but at half-time he wanted to give it a go.

“In the first five minutes of the second half he couldn’t run so we had to bring him off. It was a blow for us because we felt he was causing Kilmarnock a few problems. Hopefully neither of them are anything serious.”

Hearts remain 20 points adrift at the foot of the Scottish Premiership with 27 points left to play for.