HEARTS are expected to be without winger David Templeton for this weekend’s encounter with Dundee United due to the persistent groin injury which forced him off against Motherwell.
Medical staff at Riccarton will give the player every chance to prove his fitness throughout the remainder of this week, however Hearts will not risk aggravating the problem further by playing him if he is not fully fit.
Templeton was withdrawn late in the first half at Fir Park on Saturday after injuring his groin whilst taking a shot at goal. He has suffered with the complaint for several weeks and requires rest to ensure a full recovery.
United play Kilmarnock at Tannadice this evening and victory would move them to within two points of Hearts as they pursue fourth place in the SPL, which guarantees entry to the Europa League’s second qualifying round in July.
“It could take a run of games,” said Peter Houston, the United manager.
“All you need is two or three results in a row and you can jump up the table quite a bit.
“I think ourselves, Aberdeen, St Mirren, Kilmarnock and even St Johnstone are all getting dragged into the last place for the top six.
“I will say that, if we win tonight, we’re two points behind Hearts and we play them on Saturday.
“So they could be drawn back into it as well.”
Meanwhile, Hearts goalkeeper Mark Ridgers has been named in the Scotland Under-21 squad for next week’s European Championship qualifier against the Netherlands.