First Team

Craig Confirms Return of Trio

20th September 2019

Craig Levein confirmed that Joel Pereira, Michael Smith and Steven Naismith should be fit for the Edinburgh derby on Sunday.

The return of the trio eases the manager's injury list, with Conor Washington joining those on the sidelines after he had surgery on his hamstring through the week.

"We've got the likes of Naisy and Michael Smith, who are in rehab mode and they're getting close to being ready to play, provided they get through training today and tomorrow," Craig told the media. "I would expect both of them to be fit for Sunday.

"Joel's come back up from Manchester United and is feeling good. The problem he had was a thigh strain, so we've not done an awful lot of kicking to this point, just to make sure we give him plenty of time to recover. That'll be the last thing he has to do. If he gets through that, then he will be available as well."

However, the manager did rule out one first team star - John Souttar. The centre-back limped off during the season opener against Aberdeen and has not played since.

"He's improving but very slowly. It's frustrating for him more than anything else. Once he's right, he'll be back in the fold."

To watch Craig's press conference in full on HeartsTV, click here.