Goalkeeper Marian Kello is unlikely to feature for Hearts against Celtic on Wednesday unless a 'political' issue can be resolved, according to manager Paulo Sergio.
Slovakian Kello, who is out of contract at the end of the season, reportedly turned down a move to Austria Vienna on transfer deadline day last week, preferring to stay at Tynecastle.
However, his decision appears to have upset Hearts owner Vladimir Romanov and director Sergejus Fedotovas and although he warmed up with the team, it was Jamie MacDonald who played in goal in the 1-1 Scottish Cup fifth-round stalemate with St Johnstone on Sunday.
Sergio said: "There is an issue running between him (Kello) and our board, a political thing. It's not up to me to explain that.
"I was told that because Marian is not committed with the future with Hearts, we should play the others. It's a tough situation. It's not a good thing for us."
Cillian Sheridan's 77th-minute strike cancelled out David Templeton's opener as 10-man Saints earned a draw, with both teams in Monday's quarter-final draw ahead of a fifth-round replay to be played at McDiarmid Park on 14th February.
The scheduling of the match frustrated Sergio, due to the timing of the Scottish Premier League Celtic clash.
The Portuguese could not understand why Hibernian's Scottish Cup clash with Kilmarnock went ahead on the same day as the RBS Six Nations rugby union fixture between Scotland and England, but Hearts were not permitted to play then as well.
However, Murrayfield and Tynecastle are in close proximity and policing issues meant it was not possible.
Templeton could miss the Bhoys fixture after going off with a groin problem, adding to Sergio's woes.