Hearts boss Robbie Neilson has provided a promising update about centre-back John Souttar. The player hasn’t featured for the Tynecastle side for a year, after suffering two achillies injuries.

However, Neilson has disclosed that even though it will take him a while to get back to full fitness, he has the chance of playing first-team football before the end of the season. But Neilson won’t rush him back, and he admits that it will still be a few months yet until Souttar is fit to play.

“Ahead of schedule”

“I think it’ll be a couple of months before he can come back. The original plan was to get him back for pre-season, and he’s hopefully ahead of schedule, but I don’t want to put a date on it” he said.

John Souttar in action for Hearts (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Neilson is pleased that Souttar is training with his teammates, rather than on his own. He feels that can help with his injury rehab.

“Pushed really hard”

“We pushed really hard to get him back in with the group as quick as possible. It was just two or three minutes at the start then building it up, and now he’s up to about 20 or 30 minutes with the group.

John Souttar may return to the Hearts team this season (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images)

“That’s really important because the last time he ruptured his Achilles, he had to do his rehab on his own and he found it very, very difficult to get back, then he had a set back.

“So fingers crossed this time he gets back to 100 per cent fit, and we can see John Souttar back on the pitch where he belongs” the Hearts boss concluded.

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