Levein leaves it late to make De Vries decision

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The Independent Football

The Hearts striker Mark de Vries remains a major doubt ahead of tonight's Uefa Cup group stage tie at Feyenoord.

The Hearts striker Mark de Vries remains a major doubt ahead of tonight's Uefa Cup group stage tie at Feyenoord.

The 29-year-old Dutch forward has travelled to Rotterdam with the rest of the squad after a stay in hospital to treat a toe injury. The Tynecastle head coach, Craig Levein, will make a late decision on whether he should play.

De Vries took a pain-killing injection in a foot injury 15 minutes before the start of the first round, second leg game against Braga and went on to score twice to help Hearts win 5-3 on aggregate. But similar last-ditch measures are not an option this time. He spent Tuesday night in hospital taking antibiotics to reduce the swelling in his toe and he can only hope the medication takes effect before the game.

The Canadian international Kevin McKenna is set to deputise, with Levein resigned to losing the Dutchman.

"It is not great to be honest," Levein said. "The swelling is down a little bit but he is still in a lot of pain. We hoped he would have been better than this. We will give him every opportunity to take part, but I'm less hopeful than I was yesterday."

Levein is also anxiously waiting the results of an ankle scan on his forward Ramon Pereira.

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