Midfielder Jason Holt will be out of action until the New Year after breaking a bone in his foot today, manager Gary Locke has revealed.
The highly-rated playmaker was hurt in training at Riccarton this morning and scans have confirmed the club's worst fears, with the X-rays showing he has fractured the first metatarsal.
The Tynecastle ace will have surgery next week, with the boss admitting his enforced absence is a huge blow.
Speaking exclusively to Hearts News this evening, the gaffer said: "Jason landed awkwardly in training today and said he felt something go in his foot. There was nothing in it but he limped off and was in some pain.
"We had him scanned and he's broken the first metatarsal and the bad news is we're looking at him being out for six to 10 weeks.
"We always knew injuries would be a problem for us this season given the size of squad we have but there's nothing we can do about it and we'll just have to get on with things. It will give an opportunity for others but we don't have too many options to be fair."
Jason had been set to feature against crack Bundesliga side Wolfsburg in tomorrow night's glamour friendly but is now resigned to being sidelined until January.