Hearts keeper Mark Ridgers might need surgery

Mark Ridgers. Picture: Ian Georgeson
Mark Ridgers. Picture: Ian Georgeson
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HEARTS were today anxiously awaiting scan results to find out whether goalkeeper Mark Ridgers requires a clean-up operation on his knee.

The 23-year-old could be out for up to three weeks if surgery is needed on an injury which has not responded to treatment.

Ridgers is second-choice goalkeeper at Tynecastle behind Jamie MacDonald, with 19-year-old Jack Hamilton third in line. The Hearts manager Gary Locke told the Evening News why it is important to solve Ridgers’ knee problem as quickly as possible.

“He’s had this knee problem for a wee while now, but it’s not getting any better. We want to get to the bottom of that,” said Locke. “We’re waiting on scan results. If those aren’t favourable, he might need a clean-up operation, which would keep him out for two or three weeks. That’s not great for him because he’s been doing really well and shown that he is an able back-up for Jamie MacDonald.”

Midfielder Ryan Stevenson did not train yesterday and will rest until later in the week after a hamstring complaint resurfaced during Sunday’s Scottish Cup defeat to Celtic. Locke is hopeful he will return to training on Thursday and be available for Saturday’s league encounter with in-form Dundee United at Tannadice.

“Ryan has had a wee problem with his hamstring over the last couple of weeks. There is a slight problem in there, but I don’t think it’s too serious,” explained Locke. “We’ll leave him a few days and hopefully it will settle down. That’s what we did last time so we’re hoping for the same again.

“If it settles down over the next couple of days then he should be alright to train later in the week. If not, we’ll need to send him for a scan. The initial signs are that it’s just a wee bit of cramp in there allied with a small problem which he can hopefully get through. He missed training yesterday and today. It will probably be Thursday before we make a decision on him.”

Meanwhile, the battle for control of Hearts continues off the field after Bob Jamieson’s HMFC Limited made an offer to Ukio Bankas Investment Group (UBIG) for their 50 per cent shareholding in the Edinburgh club. Foundation of Hearts had their Creditors’ Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) accepted last Friday, but that is conditional upon them obtaining UBIG’s 50 per cent stake.

The fans’ umbrella group are concerned that Jamieson’s intervention could lead to Hearts being liquidated, for without UBIG’s shares their CVA offer would collapse. The Foundation believe UBIG’s shares are effectively worthless and that HMFC Limited would be paying money for shares in a club which would then be liquidated.

“We would urge any third party who is attempting to place an unfunded and fanciful rival bid to reflect on the potential damage this could do to the CVA process,” said a Foundation of Hearts spokesperson. “This is too important to the future of Heart of Midlothian to have a Walter Mitty character destabilise the progress of getting the club out of administration.”

Jamieson was dismissed in the race for preferred bidder status for Hearts earlier this year, but has denied that his bid is fanciful.