BY ALAN TEMPLE, Tynecastle Park – @CCP_Sport
The comfortable victory of HEARTS in the Scottish Cup over Auchinleck Talbot was marred by an injury to Michael Smith that could have the defender out of the game for about six weeks.
The boss of the Jambos, Craig Levein, confirmed that the international of Northern Ireland suffered a tear in the thigh during the second half of his 4-0 victory over the Juniors.
Smith will be sent for a scan on Monday to determine the severity of the retreat, but Levein is prepared for the bad news.
Levein confirmed: "The big drawback was Mick [Michael Smith]. Today he was as professional as ever and his performance was very good.
"But he has torn his thigh muscle and will be examined on Monday.
"We I do not know how long he will be out. It depends on how bad it is, if it's a grade 1, 2 or 3. But it could be six weeks, maybe more.
"It was his standing leg when the ball passed."
Smith's injury halted an otherwise satisfactory afternoon for Levein, who saw his side reserve his place in the quarter-final draw courtesy of goals from Christophe Berra, Demi Mitchell, Steven MacLean and a first goal from first level of young Aidan Keena.
Levein continued: "It was a no win situation for us, but I was pleased with our performance in the first half.
"We did not play with the same intensity in the second half, we stopped playing the easy balls and we tried to do something more difficult, but it did not cost us and we finished".