Hearts star Hamill stunned by Stevenson’s recovery

Jamie Hamill applauds the Hearts fans following victory over Hibs at Easter Road. Picture: SNS
Jamie Hamill applauds the Hearts fans following victory over Hibs at Easter Road. Picture: SNS
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JAMIE Hamill has revealed his amazement at his close friend and neighbour Ryan Stevenson’s Edinburgh derby-winning heroics for Hearts, having been convinced he would miss Wednesday night’s League Cup quarter-final through injury.

The Ayrshire-based duo travel together to training at Riccarton every day and Hamill revealed the extent of Stevenson’s discomfort after suffering knee damage in last Saturday’s league defeat against Kilmarnock at Rugby Park.

“I thought he was going to be out for another two of three months,” said Hamill. “But I got the call to pick him up as usual for training on Monday morning and he came out of his house with a knee brace on.

“I always look after him, though. I open car doors for him. He had an ice bucket for his knee in the car and he was not going to give it up. Stevo does like a bit of drama, to be fair, that’s his middle name!

“But, seriously, when I spoke to him, I could tell how determined he was to feature in the derby. On Tuesday in training, he managed to get himself out onto the grass and did a bit and there was positive thinking. Even so, for him to go out play the way he did at Easter Road and score that winning goal was just unbelievable.”

Having missed out through injury on Hearts’ last two domestic cup finals, the 2012 Scottish Cup triumph over Hibs and last season’s League Cup loss to St Mirren, Hamill is hoping for better fortune this time around as he bids to help Gary Locke’s side to reach another showpiece occasion.

“If we get to the final again, I’ll hide in a cupboard wrapped in cotton wool until the day of the game,” he smiled. “It’s difficult to watch a final from the sidelines, although I still managed to enjoy the after party when the boys beat Hibs 5-1.

“But, in the dressing room afterwards, it’s hard to feel a part of it if you haven’t played in the game. We’ve still got a tough semi-final to try to get through against Inverness, but I hope luck changes for me if we get there.

“The boys are happy with the draw. We beat Inverness on penalties in the semi-final at Easter Road last season and had a feeling we would be paired with them again. I hope the game is at Easter Road again, it’s a good place for us to play and we would take a huge support with us again.”