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Beni Baningime to have scan on ankle injury but will miss Celtic clash

Heart of Midlothian v Hibernian – cinch Premiership – Tynecastle Park
(Image credit: Jeff Holmes)

Hearts midfielder Beni Baningime has been sent for a scan to determine the extent of the ankle injury he sustained against St Mirren last weekend.

The former Everton player was carried off late on in Saturday’s 2-0 victory at Tynecastle and manager Robbie Neilson was initially hopeful that he would be fit for Thursday’s cinch Premiership match with Celtic.

However, Baningime is set to miss the trip to Glasgow’s east end as well as Sunday’s visit to Livingston, with the Jambos boss hopeful that the damage to his key midfielder is not too serious.

Neilson said: “Beni is getting scanned today so it doesn’t look like he’s going to be available for Thursday or the weekend. He’s still walking about but we thought we’d get it scanned as a precaution because he wouldn’t be ready for the game on Thursday.

“It’s not going to be a long-term one, I don’t think.”

Hearts know a victory on Thursday will lift them above Ange Postecoglou’s side and into second place.

The Tynecastle side are unbeaten in their two league matches with Celtic and Rangers this term, while they lost 3-2 on their last visit to Celtic Park in the Premier Sports Cup in August after a poor first-half display.

Neilson is upbeat about their prospects of returning with a positive result.

He said: “The last time at Celtic Park we struggled to get any pressure on Celtic in the first half and they dominated, but in the second half we changed it, had more pressure, were more in the game and managed to score a couple of goals.

“Off the back of a good result at the weekend, we’ve got a chance to go and try and implement our gameplan at Parkhead.

“We’re going there with confidence. We’ve got belief in our team and we have to take that on to the pitch on Thursday. We spoke at the start of the season about improving our away form and trying to go to Glasgow and win, and this is another chance to try and do that.

“We did well against Rangers (at Ibrox in October) and got a point but we want to do more than that, we want to go and win games.

“We want to go there and take the game to Celtic. We’ve got an opportunity to go above them, which doesn’t happen very often.

“It’s going to be hard because Celtic are a very good team but we have to go there with belief that we’re going to put a performance on and go after them, and hopefully we can get the three points.”

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