Hearts concerned Stephen Kingsley could be out long-term as club wait on Liam Boyce

Hearts defender Stephen Kingsley will undergo an ankle scan today with club management waiting to discover if he has damaged ligaments.

Wednesday, 22nd December 2021, 11:14 am
Updated Wednesday, 22nd December 2021, 11:40 am
Stephen Kingsley clutches his injured ankle during Hearts' win at Dundee on Saturday.
Stephen Kingsley clutches his injured ankle during Hearts' win at Dundee on Saturday.

He was forced off after 24 minutes of Saturday’s 1-0 win at Dundee after being injured in a challenge from the Tayside club’s midfielder Max Anderson. Riccarton medical staff decided a scan is necessary to determine the full extent of the problem.

Hearts manager Robbie Neilson told the Evening News that Kingsley could face a long-term absence depending on the outcome. All concerned are hopeful the issue is not as serious as first thought.

“He’s going for a scan today. It’s more an ankle ligament one so we just need to wait and see the extent of it,” said Neilson. “You never know with these things. If there is any structural damage in there then it will be long-term, if not then it will be a case of letting it settle down.”

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Alex Cochrane is poised to deputise for Kingsley on the left side of defence if Saturday’s Premiership match with Ross County goes ahead. Talks are currently ongoing about bringing the top-flight winter break forward due to crowd limits imposed by the Scottish Government.

Top goalscorer Liam Boyce is still working to be fit to face County. A calf issue forced him to miss the Dundee game and he is not due to train until Friday.

“Boycie should be all right. We’re going to rest him until Friday and then he will train Friday and Saturday with a view to seeing how he is for Sunday,” confirmed Neilson.

“Everyone is the same if you look at the squads, people are picking up wee injuries here and there as we get into the winter. We just need to deal with it. We have Josh Ginnelly back after suspension, which will be good for us because he will add a bit more to the squad.

“Michael Smith was on the bench on Saturday so he’s fine. We just felt Taylor Moore did well the previous week and Michael hadn’t fully trained for ten days because he had been in and out of sessions. We felt it was best to rest him and keep Taylor in there.”

Midfielder Cammy Devlin is suspended for Hearts’ next Premiership game after accumulating six cautions.

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