Hearts star Steven Naismith injury concern - striker misses Scotland training

Steven Naismith missed Scotland training on eve of Euro 2020 qualifier. Picture: SNS
Steven Naismith missed Scotland training on eve of Euro 2020 qualifier. Picture: SNS
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Hearts striker Steven Naismith has given Scotland boss Steve Clarke an injury concern on the eve of the crucial Euro 2020 qualifier against Russia.

READ MORE: Hearts’ Steven Naismith: I’m fit for 50th Scotland cap and I believe we can reach Euro 2020

The 32-year-old missed training on Thursday, according to the Scottish Sun, sparking questions as to whether he will be involved at Hampden Park on Friday night.

Last season was a frustrating one for the player as he missed 22 matches for the Tynecastle club with cartilage issues and knee surgery. He still, however, managed to finish as the club's top scorer with 14 goals.

He has started just one game so far this season, against Ross County, and even then he was substituted due to injury.

It was expected that he would start Saturday's match against Hamilton Academical but he started on the bench and was brought on with just ten minutes to go.

Craig Levein revealed that the player came in in the morning and "wasn't confident he could play 90 minutes" due to a hamstring issue.

"He thought the problem would be tiredness," the Hearts boss said. "So the longer he played the more likely he was to make the hamstring worse."

Levein added that he didn't think Naismith "was capable of playing 90 minutes" for Scotland.

Naismith said he is desperate to be involved.

“It’s fine now. I’m fine for Scotland,” he said of the injury. “I came off at the end on Saturday not feeling anything, so it’s all good.

“I’ve had hamstring issues in my younger days and you think: ‘I’ll just get through it.’ You can’t. You can’t hide that kind of injury at all. That’s why I wasn’t taking any risks at the weekend. I desperately want to be involved with Scotland. The 50-cap thing is nice but I really believe we have a right chance of getting to the Euros. This is my first taste under the new manager, I’m excited and really looking forward to it.”

Clarke's side face Belgium at Hampden on Monday.

READ MORE: Hearts’ Steven Naismith speaks out on fan pressure, Craig Levein and why his team are ‘miles off’ it