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OLLY BLOW FOR LEVEIN

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CRAIG LEVEIN has suffered a pre-Scottish Cup Final blow with the news midfielder Olly Lee has been ruled out.

The Englishman will miss the encounter against Celtic after suffering a freak injury in the Tynecastle side’s 2-1 loss at Parkhead on Sunday.

The problems are piling up for the Edinburgh side’s gaffer who is also likely to be without attacking duo Steven Naismith and Uche Ikpeazu.

Lee hobbled off early on in the weekend defeat after catching his knee when his studs stuck in the turf as he attempted to turn. He is expected to be out for two months.

Levein, speaking to the Daily Record, said: “Its hugely disappointing news for us and especially for Olly.

“He twisted his knee on the pitch with nobody around him and at the time it didn’t look too good, now we know that he’ll be out for around 10 weeks.

“Missing out on a Cup Final is hard to take, so Olly now has to focus on his rehab and target making a comeback for the beginning of the next league campaign.

“We’ll continue to monitor the progress of Peter Haring and Arnaud Djoum this week and I expect Harry Cochrane to return from illness, so we will have options in midfield for Saturday’s game.”

Naismith’s hopes of being fit for Hampden are slim with the 32-year-old former Rangers star out since February with a knee injury.

And bustling hitman Ikpeazu is battling to overcome a hamstring injury. He has yet to return to full training and it looks like Steven MacLean will be tasked with leading the team’s frontline.

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Editor

Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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