Hearts have confirmed captain Marius Zaliukas will miss the rest of the season after tearing ankle ligaments.
Zaliukas, 29, sustained the injury in a first half challenge with Johnny Russell and had to be stretchered off after landing awkwardly on his ankle.
The capital club had hoped the player would avoid having to undergo surgery, but after a visit to a London specialist the defender will now go under the knife.
The news rules the player out of next month’s League Cup final against St Mirren at Hampden.
Hearts boss John McGlynn told Hearts News: "It is a blow first and foremost for the player but also the club as Marius has been a key member of the team.
“We were waiting to hear if he needed an operation and with the news he does, it means that's probably him for the season, which is a blow."