Hearts manager Craig Levein has taken some of the blame for Peter Haring’s ongoing injury problems.
But Levein is hopeful they can finally get to the bottom of the midfielder’s pelvic problems this week.
The Austrian is seeing a specialist this week after again being troubled by pain in the area which hindered his impressive debut campaign in Scotland.
Haring underwent double hernia surgery during the winter break after playing through the pain barrier for several months but missed the last five league games after problems flared up again.
And Levein admits he might have further inflamed the situation by picking the 26-year-old for the William Hill Scottish Cup final defeat by Celtic.
Levein said: “It’s hell of a frustrating (situation). He turned out to be one of our most significant players last season and when he was out the team, we struggled a little bit to fill that gap.
“In some ways, I’m partly responsible for pushing him to play in the cup final. It was a risk and reward thing. I don’t know if that’s a direct consequence but it certainly couldn’t have helped so I’ve got to take some responsibility for that.
“The question now is that in the pelvic area there are so many different things that interact. Sometimes it’s not just one problem, it can be more than that.
“He’s away down south to get another investigation and we’ll get results on that towards the end of the week so I’m hopeful we’ll get to the bottom of it.
“That’s basically the problem, finding out exactly what we need to fix. Once we’ve got that, we can get on with it. I’m very hopeful that we’ll get, at least, an accurate diagnosis by the end of the week.”
Haring’s injury and Arnaud Djoum’s move to Saudi Arabia is set to see Levein move into the transfer market but he will utilise his young players first.
“I think we’ll need to do something in that regard,” said Levein, whose team open their Betfred Cup campaign against Dundee United on Friday.
“When is that (the transfer deadline)? Well, we still got plenty of time. We’ve got enough cover at the moment for me to feel that we can go into competitive matches without worrying too much.
“I’m not in a rush to bring another player in. I feel we will give some time to Harry Cochrane and Andy Irving, and maybe in one of the forward positions if people aren’t up to speed then Anthony McDonald and Dario Zanatta can be involved as well.”