Big freeze hampering recovery of Hearts stars

THE harsh weather is hindering Hearts players striving to recover from injury, with winger Andy Driver and striker Calum Elliot not expected to play again until near the end of the month.

Manager Csaba Laszlo has been forced to train his squad indoors due to freezing temperatures and snow-covered pitches at the club's Riccarton training ground. However, this has stunted the recuperation of players like Driver, Elliot and Craig Thomson.

Riccarton's astrodome has been home to both first-team and under-19 players during the festive period but those seeking to augment their fitness after injury have been wary of training on the 3G indoor turf.

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"Driver will be two or three weeks and Elliot will also be two or three weeks. The weather is not helping them," said Laszlo today. "Craig Thomson is in the same position. These players all have knee injuries so we must be careful."

Winger Suso has recovered from hernia surgery but has yet to find his best form since returning to the side. Laszlo admitted the deluge of snow has taken the player aback during the Spaniard's first winter in Scotland.

"His fitness is okay, he must find a little bit more confidence. Suso has never seen snow in his life, he has never had to play under these circumstances," continued Laszlo. "The weather is not stopping him but he needs more confidence after his operation."