Nathaniel Atkinson is to have a scan on his ankle after being stretchered off at the weekend. Injury news will depend on that but a week’s recovery seems an absolute minimum.Nathaniel Atkinson is to have a scan on his ankle after being stretchered off at the weekend. Injury news will depend on that but a week’s recovery seems an absolute minimum.
Nathaniel Atkinson is to have a scan on his ankle after being stretchered off at the weekend. Injury news will depend on that but a week’s recovery seems an absolute minimum. | SNS Group

Hearts injury news v Kilmarnock as 5 out and 4 doubts

Latest Hearts injury news ahead of the clash at Kilmarnock in the Scottish League Cup

It's a quick turnaround for Steven Naismith and Hearts this week as a Scottish League Cup meeting with Kilmarnock provides the perfect chance to bounce back from defeat at the hands of St Mirren and cure whatever is ailing the side on their travels. During the 1-0 loss to in-form St Mirren, full-back Nathaniel Atkinson picked up an ankle injury and was stretched off the pitch. The 24-year-old is reported to be undergoing a scan on the issue. Hearts hope there is no major damage but will wait on medical experts to confirm the extent of the injury.

Yutaro Oda is still nursing a knock and missed out at the weekend, but could be getting close to a return to action. Odell Offiah came off the bench against St Mirren and has recovered from his medical issue that arose earlier this month. Beni Baningime also featured and looks to be fit again even if not at peak fitness having missed almost all of last season with cruciate ligament damage.

Kyosuke Tagawa and Andy Halliday were out for the weekend but Naismith last week shared his hopes that they would return 'in the next week', so could be in contention for either Kilmarnock or Ross County this week at a push.

Craig Halkett ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament last December. The defender has been out since but hopes to be back in action come November. He recently said: “It’s going well. I’ve been back outside for a good while and upping my fitness work. Recently I’ve started getting a feel for the ball again so that’s the next progression I’m on to, passing the ball and getting comfortable being on the ball again. We’ve not set a specific date or game. The nine-month mark, from the day you had the operation, if you get back by then you’re doing well.

“That would take us into the end of October. So hopefully there or thereabouts, then a couple of weeks bedding myself back in and getting minutes under my belt, before being ready to start games at the beginning of November.”

Craig Gordon also suffered a serious injury in that Christmas Eve fixture last year, sustaining a double leg break that still keeps him out of action. He is, however, back in training and working towards a return. Elsewhere, Barrie McKay is still recovering from a knee injury and is expected back in October, as too is Alex Cochrane as his ankle injury heals. Finlay Pollock is still out.

Let’s take a look at the outs and doubts in the gallery below.

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