Hearts plan 'more aggressive' final week of transfer window after trio of injuries in win over St Johnstone

Hearts signing plans may have to be cranked up a notch after another three first team players were forced off injured as the Gorgie side got back to winning ways with victory over St Johnstone.

The 3-2 triumph took them back to third place in the Premiership but it came at a cost as defenders Kye Rowles and Nat Atkinson hobbled off, while forward Liam Boyce left the pitch on a stretcher.

“We will need to wait and see [the extent of the injury]. They will get scanned tonight or tomorrow and then we’ll get the feedback,” boss Robbie Neilson said.

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“They could be out for a day, it could be nine months.

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“We are speculating on what it could be. Liam felt pain in his knee but the good thing is he is walking about on crutches so fingers crossed it’s not as bad as first feared.

“For any player, particularly Liam, having had that injury on his other knee, you fear the worst. But as I said we are just speculating and he will get it scanned and it could just be jarring. We just have to hope it’s fine.

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“Kye has a problem with his metatarsal that will have a scan - he got stood on - and Atkinson felt his groin go tight so again until we get the scan results back we won’t know.”

The club are already without Craig Halkett and Beni Baningime, leaving them in need of reinforcements despite the fact Alex Cochrane and Toby Sibbick will return from suspension and young Lewis Neilson impressed on his first competitive start.

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Liam Boyce is treated before being stretchered off in Hearts' 3-2 win over St St Johnstone. (Photo by Ross Parker / SNS Group)

They have also added midfielder Orestis Kiomourtzoglou to the ranks, but have to wait for the German, who has been playing for Heracles Almelo, to get his visa, and Neilson knows that he needs further additions.

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“It’s down to the Home Office. He has been training and playing with his club so he is ready to go, he just needs his visa. He is away back to Holland just now to try and get it.

“We know we need to get a couple in. We got Kio in just there but maybe we need another one or two. Today might mean we are a bit more aggressive in chasing them.”

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And, although his team managed to overcome injuries and suspensions to bounce back from Thursday’s European adventures by collecting all three points against St Johnstone, the way the squad was stretched so thin will rule out too many departures.

“It depends on what comes in to be honest but I would like to keep most of the squad together because we are down to our bare bones. We need to go again on Wednesday, then Saturday, then the European games kick in. So we probably can’t afford to let many go.”

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