Hearts midfielder Jamie Walker has turned to the “hairdryer treatment” in a bid to shake off the persistent knee complaint which has plagued his campaign so far.
However, he required a hairdresser’s treatment following an ill-fated decision to dye his hair blue.
Walker decided to plump for the bold change of style during a visit to a friend’s house and made the dangerous call to let his mate do the honours, resulting in a startling new look.
While the 22-year-old attempted to keep a low profile, his stunned Hearts team-mates were not so shy – and goalkeeper Neil Alexander tweeted a picture of a sheepish Walker for the world to see.
The blue barnet left him red-faced and he immediately rectified the damage.
“A few people will have seen that unfortunately. I’ve changed it back now,” smiled the notably dark-haired Walker.
“I didn’t think it would be a good look long-term – the blue hair. As soon as I got it done, I wanted to change it back.
“I thought I would get it done on the spur of the moment, one of my pals did it. I would’ve left it, but we have a team night out in Newcastle at the weekend and I’m not going down looking like that! I was just round at my friend’s house. I’ll not be doing it again any time soon. It was only for a couple of days.
“The boys were laughing when I walked in to the dressing room but I didn’t get too many looks around Edinburgh... I wore a hat.”
Perhaps boredom can account for Walker’s errant decision-making, given he is currently confined to the sidelines due to an injury which has plagued him since August’s visit to Dundee.
Initially prescribed rest, the complaint has not cleared up and he has started just eight matches this season, robbing Hearts of one of their most potent attacking threats and stars of last term. He is now undergoing a treatment known as Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy which, without delving too deep into the technicalities, effectively fires pulses of mechanical energy into the affected tissue. It also, according to Walker, resembles a hairdryer.
“I’ve had shockwave therapy over the last few weeks but I’m still a month or so away from coming back,” continued the former Scotland under-21 international.
“It is basically wee shocks being sent into your knee which helps the knock, but it’s still a bit sore, so I am taking it easy. It’s something which is relative to my injury and thankfully it seems to have helped.
“It’s like a big hairdryer! It sends the waves straight into the knee and breaks up the tissue and helps it heal.
“Hopefully, I’ll be back training but some days it is sore, some days it is okay. I just need to take it as it comes and hopefully I am back sooner rather than later.”
Walker, however, admits he may be required to go under the knife in the long-term, albeit he is unwilling to write off two months of the current season.
“There is surgery I can get,” he added. “That involves getting the bone shaved which helps things smooth out.
“But that means two months out so it could be an option – at the end of the season.
“If it doesn’t go away then I’ll need to play through the pain barrier for this season and get it done at the end of the season.”
Walker can at least take solace from the fact his team-mates are doing the business on his behalf, with Hearts currently riding high in second spot in the Premiership following a run of seven league matches without defeat. He can also count on the support of his family and young son, Jace, as he remains circumspect regarding the lay-off.
“I’ve had problems with my knee in the past which didn’t help. I’ve had long lay-offs before – I did my metatarsal – and I just need to try to keep my head up and work hard in my rehab,” added Walker.
“I’m okay at watching the games – thankfully the lads are doing well and hopefully we’ll stay near the top of the table.
“I’m driving myself on during the rehab and trying to get fit, but I also have my family – my son – who keep me happy every day. I’ll keep the head up.”