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Hearts still short through injury ahead of Aberdeen clash

Hearts are still without a host of players for their Betfred Cup meeting with Aberdeen.

Steven Naismith (hamstring) is still not ready to return, while Peter Haring, Jamie Walker, Ben Garuccio and John Souttar are all edging closer to fitness but are likely to remain out.

Craig Wighton (knee) and Conor Washington (hamstring) are sidelined.

Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes will have an unchanged squad to pick from for the trip.

Scott McKenna could return to action early next month but this game comes too soon for him, while Stephen Gleeson and Ash Taylor are still out.

Funso Ojo (hamstring), Craig Bryson (ankle) and Scott Wright (knee) all remain absent.

Provisional Hearts squad: Pereira, Doyle, White, Hickey, Berra, Smith, Brandon, Halkett, Dikamona, Irving, Damour, Bozanic, Whelan, Clare, MacLean, Ikpeazu, Keena, Meshino, Zlamal.

Provisional Aberdeen squad: Lewis, Logan, Leigh, Vyner, Considine, Devlin, Gallagher, McGinn, Hedges, Ferguson, Cosgrove, McLennan, Main, Wilson, Anderson, Campbell, Cerny.