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By ESPN Staff

Hearts defender ruled out for rest of the season

Hearts defender Nerijus Barasa has been ruled out for the rest of the season and will undergo an operation on his injured ankle next week.

The 28-year-old Lithuanian suffered ruptured ligaments during last month's 2-1 defeat by Celtic at Tynecastle.

He is expected to need up to four months to recover fully from the operation, and manager Valdas Ivanauskas told Hearts News: 'It is very unfortunate for the player.

'He hasn't had much luck with injuries since he came to the club and in fact was out for a long time last season after being hurt on his debut for Hearts.

'He came back into the team and this happens to him. It is so unfortunate.

'His injury hasn't been improving very much so we feel an operation is the best way forward.

'He is due to have the surgery next week in England and then faces around 12-16 weeks out of action, which is obviously very bad luck for the player.'