Arnaud Djoum, Ross Callachan and Lewis Moore are all expected to miss tomorrow night’s Edinburgh derby through injury, Hearts manager Craig Levein has confirmed.
The Tynecastle side hoped Djoum would prove his fitness in time but, barring a miraculous late recovery, the Cameroonian will not be available due to an ongoing knee problem.
Callachan has a thigh complaint and Moore a torn calf muscle. All three missed Saturday’s 0-0 draw with St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park, although Jamie Walker played as a second-half substitute after a hamstring injury.
Defender Michael Smith was forced off with cramp near the end in Perth but is hopeful of being fit to face Hibs. Hearts are already without long-term injury victims Malaury Martin, Rory Currie and Ashley Smith-Brown.
“Jamie played on Saturday. I don’t think we’ll have Lewis, Arnaud or Ross,” Levein told the Evening News. “Aaron Hughes was on the bench against St Johnstone and he could be someone we could use on Wednesday. I don’t know if Michael Smith will be out, I’m not sure.” Levein admitted his young midfielder Harry Cochrane must learn the harsh lessons of his weekend red card. The 16-year-old was ordered off by referee Kevin Clancy 12 minutes from the end for a second caution. He slid in on Blair Alston but didn’t appear to catch the St Johnstone midfielder.
“He can learn because he’s trying to block the clearance. People can talk about the force of the tackle but Harry weighs about three stone so the force of the tackle is nothing,” said Levein.
“He’s tried to block it and Blair Alston accepted himself that he wasn’t touched. He hurdled it and Harry slid under him. I think it’s really sore on the kid but he is new into senior football and he needs to learn.
“This is probably a harsher lesson than he deserved but he needs to learn that, when you’re on a yellow card, you have to be careful.”