Hearts boss John McGlynn hopes to hand midfielder Mehdi Taouil a bigger role in the team once he has finished the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
The French-born Moroccan playmaker is currently fasting during daylight hours as he observes the annual religious tradition of Islam.
The ex-Kilmarnock player played well when coming off the bench against St Johnstone in the first week of the season, setting up David Templeton for the decisive second goal.
But the Hearts boss said that doubts over his fitness while his eating and drinking patterns are disrupted meant he did not feature from the start against Hibernian on Sunday.
Speaking to Hearts TV, McGlynn said Taouil would have been unlikely to last the derby pace.
He said: “Mehdi’s on Ramadan at the moment so he’s not eating or drinking.
“We considered him to start at Easter Road after playing so well last week but we didn’t think he could last a whole derby game at that pace.
“The quicker it’s finished the better for us. He came on and had an impact and got us passing the ball a bit more to try and open them up.
“He had a good influence on our game.”
Taouil has seen his involvement in early season games curtailed by Ramadan in the past two seasons. Last year he played one game during the month which lasted from August 1 to August 30.
In 2010 with Kilmarnock he also made just one appearance during Ramadan. In 2009 Taouil played five games under Jim Jefferies at Rugby Park whilst fasting between August 21 and September 19.
Ramadan began this year on July 20 and will end with the festival of Eid this Sunday, August 19.