Hearts Craig Levein offers an update on Uche Ikpeazu fitness as striker limps off against Kilmarnock


CRAIG LEVEIN insists he is ‘fairly confident’ Uche Ikpeazu will be available for the Scottish Cup final against Celtic despite suffering a hamstring scare against Kilmarnock.

However, the Hearts boss may wrap the Englishman in cotton wool until the May 25 showpiece.

There was a collective intake of breath around Tynecastle on Saturday as Ikpeazu pulled up after 48 minutes and immediately indicated that he could not continue, clutching his hamstring.

However, Levein revealed that it was a precautionary move after the player has informed him of some slight discomfort during the half-time break.

The Jambos medical staff will monitor the former Cambridge United man in the coming days to ascertain whether he will be able to play any part in the remaining two Premiership games of the season – but he expects Ikpeazu to be in contention for the Hampden clash.

Levein explained: ”Uche’s hamstring was a bit tight at half-time but he felt that he could go back out and try it. He started running on it and just felt it tight at the start of the second half.

“I had told him if he felt anything to give us the shout, as there was no point in carrying on and making it worse. I am quite confident that we have not got any serious issue or damage there. He didn’t pull up or clutch the back of the hamstring or writhe about in agony like he normally would.

“I am fairly confident that he will be good and fully fit for the Scottish Cup final. These things tend to be a minimum of ten to fourteen days. We have tested the strength of his hamstring and it is good.”