Steven Naismith has been handed an injury blow ahead of Heart of Midlothian’s trip to Paisley on Saturday after the head coach confirmed that Calem Nieuwenhof will not return to the matchday squad, while Beni Baningime is a doubt.

Nieuwenhof, a summer signing from Western Sydney Wanderers, has established himself as key player in Naismith’s side this season and has missed Hearts’ previous three games after picking up a hamstring injury in last month’s 2-0 win over Celtic, while Baningime has missed just two matches since the start of October.

Saturday's fixture with St Mirren comes too soon for the midfield duo. Liam Boyce and Craig Halkett, meanwhile, remain sidelined for the foreseeable. Frankie Kent and Barrie McKay returned in last weekend’s 1-1 draw at home to fourth-placed Kilmarnock.

“The squad is looking good,” Naismith told Hearts TV.

“The only one who changes is Beni Baningime, who has been ill. So we will wait and see how he is but he has been ill.

“Calem Nieuwenhof is not at that point and hasn't hit the marker that we want him to hit before he comes back in. The rest [of the squad] is as it has been over the past few weeks.”

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Meanwhile, St Mirren pair Ryan Strain and James Bolton are doubts for Saturday’s Premiership encounter at the SMiSA Stadium, but one or both are expected to play nonetheless.

Jonah Ayunga and Elvis Bwomono were both on the bench for the Buddies’ 1-1 draw with Motherwell last weekend as they had only recently returned from international duty, but both are in contention to start.