New Dundee United loan defender Sam McClelland is gone from St Johnstone but not forgotten, Craig Levein has pledged.
The Northern Ireland international made the switch to Tannadice earlier this week in search of game-time.
McClelland has another season left on his contract after this one.
And, after he was ruled out of action for several months with an ankle injury, Levein wants to see the 22-year-old in action to allow him to make an informed decision on his longer-term future.
“Sam needs games so it’s a good move for him,” said the Saints boss.
“I haven’t been able to see him because he was injured when we came in and he’s only back on the grass training now.
“His first task is to get into the Dundee United team and after that, I’ll be able to watch him and see how he’s getting on.
“He won’t be forgotten about, it’s just he needs to be playing now.”
Meanwhile, Saints face in-form Hearts on Wednesday night and will be without a key trio for the second game running.
“David (Keltjens) might make it,” said Levein. “He’s very close but we’ll just have to wait and see.
“But Dan (Phillips), Matty (Smith) and Liam (Gordon) are all out. We won’t be risking any of them.
“Muscle injuries are terrible – you can’t push it or they can end up suffering a tear and being out for a while, so it’s not worth it.
“It was a blow to lose the three of them for Ross County last weekend but credit to the lads who came in.”
Hearts haven’t lost a match since the start of December.
“They’re the third best side in the country and look to be that by a distance right now,” said Levein.
“We know pretty much everything there is to know about them in terms of how they’ll want to play.
The comeback is complete 🙌
Lawrence Shankland's 4️⃣9️⃣th goal in a Hearts shirt 👏
— Heart of Midlothian FC (@JamTarts) February 4, 2024
“What we need to do is be as good as we can be and hopefully that’s enough.
“I thought at Tynecastle we played well. We had some good passages of play and only went down narrowly.
“Our confidence is relatively high at the moment and not just because of the result at Ross County.
“We had a dip after the winter break but I can see we’re getting back to the levels we had before.
“I think we’ll improve as the weeks go on from here.”