Hearts update on Stephen Kingsley's injury ahead of Hibs derby

Hearts defender Stephen Kingsley is a major doubt for next week’s Edinburgh derby after missing the club’s opening Premiership win against Ross County.

A hamstring strain kept the 27-year-old out of the 2-1 victory over Ross County at Tynecastle Park. He watched from the stand as goals from Alan Forrest and Barrie McKay earned the hosts an important win in their first league fixture despite Jordan White’s late reply for County.

Kingsley is a key component of the Hearts defence but it is now douftful if he will make next Sunday’s trip to Easter Road to face Hibs. “We will see where he is for next week. He is touch-and-go at the moment,” manager Robbie Neilson told the Evening News.

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County hit the post and crossbar in the first half before Forrest’s goal calmed the nerves building around Tynecastle. “We showed the rustiness of coming into competitive games from pre-season. One of the plus sides of being in Europe is you can build into pre-season,” explained Neilson.

“But one of the downsides is you’re not involved in the Premier Sports Cup, which I like because you can come in and play four games and it’s competitive. I just felt the first half we didn’t have that competitive edge we needed, that energy to break forward. The second half was miles better after we spoke to them.

“The reason we brought Forrest here is he’s direct, he goes at people and he makes things happen. I think he’ll be an extremely good player for us. I like his career path, I think he’s the kind of player Hearts should be signing.

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“He went to Ayr United and did really well, he made the step up to Livingston and did well there. Now he’s at Hearts and you can see he has the quality to go up to the next level again.”

Neilson also praised County for their attacking style on a day when the Highlanders looked like a team to watch “I thought they were very good. Similar to last season, energy, pressing, aggressive, making it very difficult for us to play,” added Neilson.

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Hearts defender Stephen Kingsley has a hamstring injury.

“We knew they come as a front three and would try and get after us, I just didn’t feel we showed the intensity we needed.”

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