Hearts’ worst fears were confirmed today when a medical scan confirmed defender John Souttar has suffered another snapped Achilles tendon.
He will undergo surgery and is expected to miss at least six more months of football. He only recently recovered after sustaining the very same injury in February this year.
It is the third time the 23-year-old has been sidelined with an Achilles rupture since joining Hearts in 2016, but the club are determined to put him through the best possible rehabilitation.
“First and foremost we’re devastated for John,” manager Robbie Neilson told the club website. “His tendon is gone again so he’s going to go in for an operation on Wednesday and then we can just hopefully get him back as soon as we can.
“It’s been a real blow for both John and the club. Obviously having had it already and just coming back from it, it’s been a tough few days for him, but we’re here to help him.
“He’s got a good family around about him as well. We’ll get him the best care we can get him and hopefully he’ll come back as quickly as he can.”
The Evening News has learned that Souttar suffered the injury last week while running at Hearts’ Riccarton training base.
Injured players were given special dispensation to continue their recovery after the Scottish FA and Scottish Professional Football League imposed a temporary ban on training sessions for teams outwith the Premiership.
Neilson confirmed Hearts will look to sign a new defender as a result of Souttar’s absence. They have held talks with the New Zealand internationalist, Tommy Smith.
“We’re looking at that at the moment. John was going to be one of our key players when he got back fit but that wasn’t to be at this moment in time, so we have to recruit in that area.
“It’s something we’re actively doing to try and fill that gap,” said Neilson.
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