London (AFP) – Surprise Scottish Premiership leaders Hearts have been dealt a double injury blow with central defender John Souttar and striker Uche Ikpeazu both ruled out for at least five months.
Hearts lead the league by two points from Edinburgh rivals Hibs with champions Celtic three points back in third and Steven Gerrard’s Rangers five points adrift down in sixth after eight games.
However, the loss of Souttar and Ikpeazu is a body blow to hopes of mounting an unlikely title challenge.
Souttar tore the lining of his hip while on Scotland duty last week and could miss the next six months as a result.
Powerful striker Ikpeazu has scored four goals in 10 games since signing from Cambridge this summer, but he is also set for a spell on the sidelines after being told a recent foot injury requires surgery that could keep him out until March.
“John will be out for five or six months by the looks of things. He landed awkwardly and tore the lining of his hip, which is a blow,” said Hearts manager Craig Levein.
“Uche will be out for five months as well by the looks of things. This problem we’ve had with his foot we’ve managed to finally get to the bottom of.
“It’s a really obscure problem which needs an operation.”
200+ Channels With Sports & News
- Starting price: $33/mo. for fubo Latino Package
- Watch Premier League, World Cup, Euro 2024 & more
- Includes NBC, USA, FOX, ESPN, CBSSN & more
Live & On Demand TV Streaming
- Price: $35/mo. for Sling Blue
- Watch Premier League, World Cup & MLS
- Includes USA, NBC, FOX, FS1 + more
Many Sports & ESPN Originals
- Price: $6.99/mo. (or get ESPN+, Hulu & Disney+ for $13.99/mo.)
- Features Bundesliga, LaLiga, Championship, & more
- Also includes daily ESPN FC news & highlights show
2,000+ soccer games per year
- Price: $4.99/mo
- Features Champions League, Serie A, Europa League & NWSL
- Includes CBS, Star Trek & CBS Sports HQ
175 Premier League Games & PL TV
- Starting price: $4.99/mo. for Peacock Premium
- Watch 175 exclusive EPL games per season
- Includes Premier League TV channel plus movies, TV shows & more
- Ex-Man Utd star Giggs admits to lifelong infidelity in court testimony
- Our 6 way-too-early reactions to 2022/23 Premier League season
- Van Dijk says Nunez must ‘control himself’ after Liverpool red card
- Man City complete signing of Spanish defender Gomez
- International efforts needed to understand sport’s dementia risk: report
- ‘Very special’: English teenager Bynoe-Gittens extends Dortmund deal
- Where to find Rangers vs. PSV Eindhoven on US TV
- Where to find LAFC vs. DC United on US TV
- Where to find PSG vs. Manchester United on US TV
- Where to find Bayern Munich vs. Barcelona on US TV