Suso under the knife

Winger Suso Santana will not be asked to get stripped for action tomorrow as he will be stripped for surgery instead. He is due to undergo a knee operation to deal with the niggling problem which has troubled him for a number of weeks and Hearts have decided now is the best time for him to be sent  for surgery. The Spaniard has been a substitute in both of Hearts' games this week, the 2-0 wins over Hibs and Celtic, but was required for only three minutes in Wednesday's win at Tynecastle due to the form of David Templeton. Jefferies said: "He's had this wee cartilage problem which keeps swelling up after games. He'll get it done on Saturday morning because it will just get worse."

Santana will miss the game in Perth as Hearts seek a third straight win. Jason Thomson is a doubt with an ankle problem for the fixture at McDiarmid Park against St Johnstone. There was more positive news on the injury front, with Scotland full-back Lee Wallace (knee) and winger Andrew Driver (thigh) both nearing returns to full training. Saints have called a precautionary pitch inspection for 9am on Saturday, with doubts over the surface due to recent heavy rain.