Jake Mulraney admits his goal against St Mirren was the prefect tonic for any lingering aches and pains following an earlier than scheduled return to first team action.
The Irish winger suffered ankle ligament damage in the Jambos 1-1 draw with Rangers three weeks ago, which looked set to rule him out for an extended period of time.
However, after successfully completing his rehabilitation programme and getting back on the training pitch, he was named among the substitutes at Tynecastle on Saturday.
Introduced on the hour mark, Jake wasted no time in making his presence felt, curling home a spectacular 20-yard right-foot effort into the top corner, leaving Buddies ‘keeper Vaclav Hladkey grasping thin air.
Voted Sky Sports News’ goal of the day across Scotland and the English Football League, the 23-year-old said the strike helped dull any pain as he looks to go from strength to strength.
“I am back a couple of weeks early,” he said. “I’m still in a bit of pain, to be honest, so I had to take some tablets before going on.
“But it’s not too bad. I think the ligaments are all right now, it’s just about building strength and getting through a bit of pain.
“The goal is definitely better than a painkiller.”
Joining Jake in returning from injury was Jamie Walker and Steven Naismith, and Jake was quick to praise the Scotland forward for the influence he has on both the team and him personally.
“Naisy’s presence on the pitch is unbelievable,” he said. “Just look at him. He’s always talking people through games, egging people on, passing on information.
“It’s massive, especially for the young boys – and we have a lot of those in the team.
“He was at the very top so his standards are way up there. That’s what he wants from us.
“Me and Naisy were speaking about it on Friday, because I need to add goals to my game. And a few more assists.
“The conversation was actually about assists. He was talking about assists, I was talking about goals.
“So, after I scored, we had a chat in the little huddle there because he’d assisted me – and the plan was for me to provide assists for him!”