Hearts explain Peter Haring's extended absence plus latest news on Stephen Humphrys and Craig Halkett

Peter Haring’s extended absence from Hearts’ first team is down to recurring concussion problems which the club are treating with extreme caution.

Medical staff must proceed carefully with the Austrian midfielder, who has not played in almost a month since the 2-0 defeat at Aberdeen on October 15. Relapses have set him back as he tried to return to competitive action and it remains to be seen whether he will be available for Livingston’s Premiership visit to Tynecastle Park on Saturday.

Stephen Humphrys, the on-loan Wigan Athletic forward, is also being assessed on a daily basis whilst waiting for ankle pain to subside. He has been sidelined since the 4-3 loss to Celtic on October 22.

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“Humphrys got a knock on the ankle so we are still waiting for it to settle down. It’s just taken longer than we thought,” explained Robbie Neilson, the Hearts manager. “If he turns up to training any day, goes out running and feels okay, then he will be able to get involved. If not, then he can’t.

“Peter Haring is the same. We are looking at him day by day. He had that concussion knock and it’s flared up a couple of times now so we need to be really careful with him. We followed all the protocols and he got back involved but it flared up against so we had to take him back out again. The most important thing is getting him right rather than pushing him for games. You can’t take any chances.”

Neilson is unsure whether centre-back Craig Halkett will be fit this weekend. “We will see how Halkett is. If he makes it, he wouldn’t be ready for a start. He might be on the bench. Other than that, our squad will pretty much be the same as Wednesday night against Rangers.”

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Craig Halkett and Peter Haring are still missing for Hearts.