Hearts have confirmed goalkeeper Craig Gordon will miss the rest of the season after suffering a double leg break.
The club captain was injured during the 2-2 draw with Dundee United on Christmas Eve in an accidental collision with Steven Fletcher.
Gordon was brought off on a stretcher and suffered a fibula and tibia break.
Gordon, who turns 40 on New Year’s Eve, has a contract at Hearts until the summer of 2024, but the injury will raise concerns about the remainder of his playing career.
Hearts manager Robbie Neilson told the club’s website: “Our thoughts first and foremost are with Craig and his young family. It’s been an incredibly distressing time for them, especially at Christmas, and everyone at the club is here to offer them our full support.
“It is obviously massive blow to lose a player as influential as Craig for the rest of the season but to be honest, all anyone is thinking of right now is about his wellbeing.
“I’ve known Craig for a long, long time and he’s a warrior. He’s faced injury adversity before and come back stronger, so I’ve no doubt that he’ll approach this in the same manner.
“For now, it’s about rest and recuperation. There is no pressure on him as he’ll get the best medical care and rehabilitation facilities possible at Hearts.
“I’d also like to thank our medical team and the NHS Scotland staff at Ninewells for giving Craig the best possible care in what was a challenging situation.”