Hearts reveal their plan for Cammy Logan and explain why defender is missing - plus Jamie Brandon update
The Riccarton academy graduate is recovering from a back injury which has hitherto prevented him participating in matches. Once fully fit, he is expected to push for game-time in the first team.
The reliable Smith, 32, remains manager Robbie Neilson’s first-choice right-back and has played every minute of Hearts’ three Premier Sports Cup ties this month.
The Edinburgh club’s plan is for 19-year-old Logan to operate as an able-bodied back-up this term.
“Cammy had a little problem with his back so it's been a bit stop-start with him. He came in during the close season and worked really hard, then this wee problem arose,” explained Neilson. “He is back running now so it's just a case of building him up.
“We do have high hopes for him. I wanted him in the first-team squad competing with Michael Smith this year but obviously that hasn't happened so far. Hopefully once he is fully fit he will be pushing in there. It's important to have competition for places.”
The wait for fellow right-back Jamie Brandon to return will be considerably longer. The 23-year-old ruptured a cruciate knee ligament in January and is not expected to play again until later this year.
“I think it will be October or November before Jamie is back,” said Neilson.
Hearts have no other injuries to contend with ahead of Sunday’s final Premier Sports Cup tie against Inverness Caledonian Thistle at Tynecastle Park.