Hearts expect goalkeeper Neil Alexander to miss only three to four weeks after receiving confirmation he suffered a broken cheekbone at Ibrox yesterday.
The Edinburgh club’s medical staff initially feared a longer lay-off but third-choice goalkeeper Jack Hamilton will still be recalled from his loan at Stenhousemuir to provide essential cover.
Alexander collided with centre-back Alim Ozturk after 63 minutes of the match, in which Hearts beat Rangers 2-1, and was stretchered off. He was instantly taken to Glasgow’s Southern General Hospital, where the broken cheekboone was confirmed. In a bout of positive news, the break is expected to heal quicker than first thought and Alexander should miss no more than a month’s football.
Scott Gallacher replaced him as a substitute against Rangers and will now deputise until he recovers. Gallacher, 25, is eager to stake a serious claim to be the first-choice Hearts goalkeeper after joining from Rangers on a two-year contract last month. He will now get his chance in the first team, starting with the Edinburgh derby against Hibs on Sunday.
Hamilton will return to Tynecastle as understudy to Gallacher until Alexander is fully fit again. He has played three competitive games for Stenhousemuir already this season and kept his first clean sheet on Saturday as the League One club beat Airdrie 1-0.