Hearts defender Blazej Augustyn is facing another couple of weeks on the sidelines after undergoing a hernia operation yesterday morning.
The Polish centre-back missed Wednesday’s win over Motherwell with a groin problem and after seeing a specialist on Thursday he was sent for surgery.
He is certain to miss today’s trip to Ross County and next Saturday’s clash with Partick Thistle, but head coach Robbie Neilson is hopeful that the summer recruit will return to action later this month.
“Blazej has a hernia and will be out for about a fortnight,” he said. “He’s just had an operation, but the timelines for hernias are great nowadays, we could get him back in two to three weeks.”
This blow is softened by the news that Igor Rossi has recovered from the hamstring tightness that forced him off towards the end of the Motherwell game and will be fit to continue in defence for today’s trip to Ross County. “Igor is fine,” said Neilson. “We just took him off against Motherwell as a precaution.
Neilson moved to dismiss claims from an agent that Hearts had lodged a £100,000 bid for the highly-rated Bulgarian midfielder Milen Gamakov, who is valued at £350,000 by his club, Botev Plovdiv.
“He was a player that got put to us, but with the money they’re talking about, it’s not something we’re going to go for,” said the head coach. “I noticed they’re saying there’s an offer in. There’s been no offer put in at all from us. He’s a good player who is being put about a lot of clubs in Italy and Spain. But at that kind of price, it’s not what we’re looking at.”
Neilson also poured cold water on rumours linking Hearts with a loan move for Sheffield Wednesday forward. “Nothing in that at all,” he said.
The head coach confirmed once again that he is happy with the make-up of his squad and doesn’t envisage any more incomings before the end of the transfer windows unless anyone departs Tynecastle.
“I’m happy with what we’ve got just now but if an offer comes in that we think’s acceptable, the player will go and it’s up to us to be ready to bring someone else in,” he said. “If we do move someone on, it might be the case that we can get another one in. At the moment, if no-one goes, I’m more than happy.”
Neilson reiterated his belief that the current Hearts team, who sit top of the fledgling Premiership table after three consecutive wins, should not be compared with the side which famously won its first eight games of the 2005/06 season under George Burley.
“We are miles away from that team,” he said. “That team had a Champions League winner, a European Championships winner and just about every player in the team was a full international. We are miles away from that and we know that ourselves. We are not going to invite comparisons with a team like that after three games. Three games is nothing – we have 35 to go. Any club that wins three games in a row, people will start to get excited. If Aberdeen win their next couple of games, people will start to talk about them.”