Zaliukas doubtful for Anfield trip

PA Sport
Marius Zaliukas is likely to miss Hearts' trip to Anfield
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Marius Zaliukas is likely to miss Hearts' trip to Anfield

Hearts captain Marius Zaliukas faces a race against time to be fit for Thursday's Europa League play-off second leg at Liverpool after a thigh injury flared up during their goalless draw against Aberdeen.

Zaliukas was replaced at half-time at Pittodrie and manager John McGlynn admitted after the game that the Lithuanian defender was a major concern for the Anfield trip.

"He picked up a thigh injury against Inverness Caley and had to take a jag (painkilling injection) before the match against Liverpool on Thursday and again (before this game)," he said. "Leading up to half-time he felt it again so we thought it was best to take him off."

McGlynn added: "We will just have to wait and see how he progresses through the week to see whether or not he will be available for Thursday."

Aberdeen dominated proceedings at Pittodrie but it was the visitors who almost stole all three points when Andrew Driver struck the woodwork in stoppage time.

McGlynn said: "If we had scored that one at the end it would have felt like we had mugged them. It would have been daylight robbery.

"We would have taken it but that's how crazy football is as we had our backs to the wall for long spells and had to defend really well. I think it would have been very harsh had we walked away with all three points."

Aberdeen manager Craig Brown has an injury concern of his own after seeing left-back Gary Naysmith hobble off with a hamstring injury.

He said: "He is despondent as he thinks he could be out for a while. I think three games in a week, including extra time, took its toll on Gary."

Brown added: "I was very proud of the team. It took us 25 minutes or so to get bedded in but for the last hour or so I thought we were the dominant team. I think had we lost the goal at the end it would have been a real travesty. I can't fault the team in any way apart from the lack of goals."

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