Hearts manager Jim Jefferies has vowed that Marian Kello has his full support after revealing he is currently not considering the goalkeeper for selection due to "a private matter".
Jefferies declined to go into details about the reason for Kello's absence, but insisted it was a decision he and the goalkeeper made together and was not influenced by Hearts majority shareholder Vladimir Romanov.
Asked whether Kello still has a future at Tynecastle, Jefferies said: "I hope he has. He's a terrific boy and he's got my full support."
The 28-year-old Slovakia international, who has made 29 appearances this season, has been troubled with a recent back problem, but Jefferies revealed there were other factors behind his recent non-selection.
The Hearts boss added: "About a week after he was out after his back spasm there was a report on something which I discussed with Marian and have done two or three times a week (since).
"When this was brought to our attention I asked him what he thought. In the circumstances we decided it would be better if we got it cleared up. Hopefully that will be soon and when it is he'll be back in the team. If that sort of thing is on his mind he wouldn't be in the right frame of mind."
Jefferies declined to reveal the full reasons behind the decision not to select Kello, who last played in the March 19 Clydesdale Bank Premier League win over St Mirren, but dismissed any suggestion the move was under the instruction of Romanov.
Jefferies added: "I can't discuss an internal matter because there are legal things involved and it's not right to discuss it. "It doesn't matter what anybody else says. Marian and I have discussed it and it's a decision we both came to."
Kello has been a key member of the Hearts side which stand on the verge of clinching third place in the SPL this term, but will not be in the squad for Saturday's match with Motherwell. But Jefferies is unfazed by his first-choice stopper's continued absence.
He added: "We're very fortunate we've got Jamie MacDonald and Janos Balogh who are two exceptional goalkeepers, so it's not disrupted us in any way."