Hearts get good and bad news on midfield injury front

Ross Callachan
Ross Callachan
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Harry Cochrane and Ross Callachan will both be fit for Hearts’ match against St Johnstone on Saturday.

However, fellow midfielders Don Cowie and Malaury Martin are deemed doubtful for the Murrayfield encounter.

Harry Cochrane

Harry Cochrane

Cochrane was forced off at half-time in Saturday’s 2-1 victory over Ross County after sustaining a nasty wound on his ankle which required stitches when he was caught by the stud of opposing striker Craig Curran. Callachan missed the trip to Dingwall with a calf strain.

“Ross has improved and I would expect him to train on Thursday and be back in contention for the weekend, and Harry will be okay,” Levein told the Evening News.

Cowie was also replaced at half-time at the Global Energy Stadium after being afflicted by calf tightness, while Martin, who was set to be among the substitutes in the Highlands, had to withdraw after pulling up with a groin issue in training on Friday morning. Levein is unsure if either player will be available for the match against Saints.

“Don’s calf was a bit tight on Saturday and I think he’s caught it before there was any major problem but I don’t know if he’ll be ready for the weekend,” said the manager. “Malaury’s got a groin strain so we’ll have to wait and see how he is later in the week.”

Connor Randall is suspended for Saturday’s match while Arnaud Djoum and Aaron Hughes continue to be absent through injury. Levein confirmed Hughes is in a race to be fit for Northern Ireland’s World Cup play-off matches against Switzerland on November 9 and 12. The 37-year-old defender went off early in Hearts’ match against Dundee at Dens Park on September 30 with a calf problem. “If he’s going to be involved in the play-off, he’d probably need to play for us (against Kilmarnock) on the 5th of November,” said Levein. “Fingers crossed, but it will be touch and go.”