Hearts striker Soufian El Hassnaoui’s injury woes have struck again after he went under the surgeon’s knife to have a groin problem mended.
The Dutch-Moroccan, who has not played this season, has now undergone four operations since joining Robbie Neilson’s side on a three-year deal from Sparta Rotterdam in summer 2014.
This latest set-back will rule the 26-year-old out for up to six weeks although Neilson has already conceded that the marksman may not play at all this term.
After undergoing a scheduled groin operation shortly after his arrival, El Hassnaoui, who has made a total of 19 appearances, then had a procedure carried out to rectify an ankle complaint in November 2014.
He underwent a third op during pre-season after damaging knee ligaments during a clash at Preston.
Neilson said: “He went for a scan and was then sent for a groin operation on Thursday.
“It is going to be another six weeks for him, which will be difficult for him. He has come back, got injured again, come back, got injured again.
“It will be a difficult period and we just need to support him through it.”