Sean Clare is an injury doubt for Hearts’ Scottish Cup tie against Auchinleck Talbot on Sunday due to a hip problem.
The English midfielder has been in fine form recently but aggravated the injury during Wednesday night’s draw with Livingston.
“Sean has been carrying a hip issue and it got worse on Wednesday. He didn’t train yesterday,” said manager Craig Levein. “He has been brilliant recently. He had to work hard to get fit after his injury problems, then he needed to understand the football in Scotland.
“He is just starting to hit his stride so I’m disappointed. He has played a lot of matches in a short space of time and maybe I should have rested him but it’s hard when he’s doing so well.”
Levein will have no trouble finding a deputy if Clare fails to make it.
“We have so much competition for places that Marcus Godinho, Steven MacLean and Ben Garuccio didn’t even make the bench on Wednesday. I need to make tough decisions every week.