Hearts midfielder Peter Haring has undergone a double hernia operation, ruling him out of action for up to six weeks.
Craig Levein confirmed that the 25-year-old’s surgery had gone well, telling HeartsTV: “He’s good, the operation was successful and the recovery time is four to six weeks.
“I’m hoping it’s closer to four because he is an important player for us. But the operation went well and that’s the main thing.”
Haring will miss the Scottish Cup match against Livingston on January 20, as well as the Ladbrokes Premiership fixtures against Dundee and St Johnstone later this month.
If his recovery time is at the shorter end of the scale, he could come into contention for the league match away to Motherwell on February 17.
The Austrian, who has scored six times in 26 appearances for the Jambos this season, has been soldiering on since October with the hernia problem.
After last month’s victory over Edinburgh rivals Hibs at Easter Road, Levein admitted that the former SV Ried midfielder had been “filling himself with painkillers and anti-inflammatories” in a bid to get through matches.
Haring was forced off after 54 minutes of the derby but had battled through several matches to help Hearts through the club’s injury-ravaged start to the season.
He was deployed as a makeshift centre-forward in the first Edinburgh derby of the season on October 31, with Craig Wighton the only recognised available striker for Hearts.
Defenders Christophe Berra and John Souttar, along with strikers Uche Ikpeazu and Steven Naismith, have all spent long periods on the sidelines, while on-loan Burnley centre-back Jimmy Dunne missed all of December through injury during his stint at Tynecastle.