Kingston ruled out for a further four weeks
A foot injury will force Laryea Kingston to miss a crunch phase of the Scottish Premier League season.
The Ghana and Hearts midfielder has been ruled out for a further four weeks with a foot injury.
The 27-year-old played for the Black Stars at the Africa Cup of Nations earlier this year.
But he has not featured for his club since 1 December, having been absent for Hearts with an unrelated foot injury prior to the Cup of Nations.
While preparing for his country's Africa Nations Cup quarter-final against Nigeria, Kingston sustained the latest foot problem which has kept him on the sidelines at Tynecastle ever since.
"It's not ideal, by any stretch of the imagination to be without Larry for the next four weeks, but it's really important that we have him back fully fit," Hearts caretaker boss Stevie Frail told the club's website.
"We very much hope we'll have some big games after the 'split' so it could be crucial to have him involved in those."
Kingston has begun light jogging, and Frail said: "It's proved to be quite a serious injury in the sense that whilst there is no break to the bone, the bruising is very deep."