Hearts have confirmed Beni Baningime has suffered a significant injury and won’t play for the club again this season.
Baningime was stretchered off during Hearts’ win over Livingston in their most recent Premiership game and the injury has now been assessed.
The midfielder has damaged his cruciate ligament and the club say he will undergo surgery before beginning a programme to bring him back to full fitness.
Hearts boss Robbie Neilson refused to put a timescale on rehabilitation, and said that Baningime will get full support to get back to his best.
He told the club website: “First and foremost we’re all gutted for Beni. He came here to play football and, as everyone knows, he had been doing extremely well for us, so to now face a long period out is a hard one for him to take.
“He’s now got a bit of a journey to get back playing but we’re all absolutely behind him. Our medical team at the club is first class and he’ll get the best support from them, from his teammates and the coaching staff.
“We’re not going to put a timeframe on him returning because there is no pressure. We want him to come back in the best possible shape, as will the fans, and that will take as long as it takes.”
Baningime joined Hearts last summer from Everton, signing a three-year deal. He quickly established himself as an important part of Neilson’s side and has made a significant contribution in their climb to third place in the Premiership table.