Hearts have been dealt another big injury blow after their fears over Nathaniel Atkinson were realised.

The Australian defender was stretchered off during the 1-0 defeat against St Mirren last weekend.

He sustained an ankle injury following an awkward landing and has since undergone scans to discover the extent of the damage. 

The full-back has suffered ligament damage which will rule him out for at least the next two months, according to the Evening News.

It is believed the Tynecastle outfit are hopeful of having him back for the busy festive schedule in December.

But until then, Steven Naismith will have to make do without his first choice right back. Atkinson has made ten appearances for the club so far this season.

Odel Offiah, on-loan Brighton and Hove Albion, and Toby Sibbick will be expected to fill in the position for the foreseeable. 

Atkinson adds to an injury list full of key players including Craig Gordon, Craig Halkett, Alex Cochrane and Barrie McKay.

He will miss a number of matches for the club in the weeks ahead, including the Viaplay Cup semi-final against Rangers at Hampden in early November.

He will also miss four international fixtures for Australia.

Meanwhile, Michael Beale has addressed Alex Lowry's situation after Rangers were drawn against Hearts in the semi-finals of the Viaplay Cup.

The talented playmaker scored the winner for the Tynecastle outfit in dramatic fashion at Rugby Park on Tuesday night.

READ MORE: Beale addresses Lowry Rangers vs Hearts cup semi situation

The 20-year-old's neat drag back and arrowed finish saw Naismith's men progress into the last four of the League Cup to relieve a bit of the pressure from the stands at the club.

Rangers joined the Edinburgh giants, along with Hibernian and Aberdeen, in the next round of the competition last night by defeating Livingston on home soil in the quarters.

Lowry has enjoyed a mixed start to life on loan at Hearts, with game time from the start not always forthcoming.

But Beale is pleased with his progress under Naismith as he revealed the player will not be involved in the semi clash in November, as per the loan agreement between the clubs.

He said: “Alex Lowry our boy went there and scored a fantastic finish so I’m delighted for him and he won’t be able to play."