St Johnstone v Hearts preview

St Johnstone boss Steve Lomas will ask David McCracken if he is

ready to return early from his fractured cheekbone against Hearts

as Saints face an injury crisis in defence.

Defenders Steven Anderson, Frazer Wright and skipper Dave Mackay

are out suspended while midfielder Chris Millar is also banned

after being red carded in the 1-1 draw against St Mirren last

week.

McCracken had to have surgery after picking up the injury when

he clashed heads with Celtic midfielder Victor Wanyama during the

1-1 draw at Parkhead on November 11. Craig Beattie, Jamie Adams and

David Robertson are all injured.

Hearts midfielder Scott Robinson is unlikely to travel St

Johnstone and faces a meeting over his future on Monday after his

refusal to participate against Aberdeen.

Medhi Taouil (groin) is out of the trip to Perth, joining Danny

Grainger (knee), Jason Holt (ankle) and Jamie Hamill (knee) in

being absent.

Arvydas Novikovas (ankle) could return after missing the Dons

win, Dylan McGowan is available again following a hip problem,

while Ryan Stevenson is fit after coming off at half-time against

Aberdeen following a head knock.