Christophe Berra is facing approximately six months on the sidelines after suffering an injury against Celtic.
The skipper was a first-half casualty in the 1-0 win, having to be carried off on a stretcher after going down injured during a Celtic attack.
A scan yesterday revealed that he’s torn his hamstring and will be out of action until after the new year.
Speaking to heartsfc.co.uk, manager Craig Levein said: “It’s obviously a very big blow.
“I’m gutted for Christophe. He’s really never been injured before and has played a number of years at the highest level, so it’s really bad luck.
“The reassuring thing is that this year we have squad depth and Aaron Hughes showed his quality when called upon against Celtic, so we have options going forward.”