Striker Kyle Lafferty suspended for Hearts' next three games

Hearts striker Kyle Lafferty is suspended for the next three games after his red card at Pittodrie last month, the Evening News can reveal.

Wednesday, 17th January 2018, 5:30 am
Kyle Lafferty wont be available for Hearts until the trip to Celtic Park on January 30

The Scottish Football Association have confirmed that the Northern Irishman will miss Sunday’s Scottish Cup tie with Hibs plus the following two Premiership games against Hamilton and Motherwell. Lafferty was issued a two-game ban for a straight red card when he fouled Aberdeen’s Graeme Shinnie on December 30. He appealed but an independent panel rejected the case and the dismissal, plus suspension, were upheld.

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That would have ruled him out of the Hibs and Hamilton fixtures, but he was already due to serve a suspension against Accies after accumulating six league bookings.

SFA rules state that bans cannot run concurrently, so the one-game ban for six cautions gets pushed back to the Motherwell match.

As a result, Hearts manager Craig Levein will be unable to call upon his top goalscorer until the visit to Celtic Park at the end of the month. Lafferty will be without a competitive outing in four weeks by that point. Levein is working to sign a new striker in time for Sunday’s Scottish Cup meeting with Hibs to reinforce his attack. If those attempts fail, he will choose between Esmael Goncalves and Cole Stockton to lead the forward line.