BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport
DEMI MITCHELL hopes to play for Hearts again this season – despite being ruled out for around two months with a knee injury.
The 21-year-old returned to United’s Carrington training base this week for a scan on a persistent complaint first sustained against Ross County on February 17.
Mitchell was sidelined for the Jambos’ Scottish Cup exit at the hands of Motherwell on Sunday but boss Craig Levein had been hopeful that his first-choice left-back would return to full fitness ahead of Friday’s Edinburgh derby showdown against Hibs.
Instead, United medical staff yesterday informed their Hearts counterparts that the damage is far worse than initially feared, with a tear to his meniscus tendon meaning that the England under-20 internationalist will be absent for around eight weeks.
Mitchell will remain at Old Trafford to carry out his rehabilitation and will require a swift recovery to have any hope of featuring for Hearts again before his loan deal expires.
Mitchell tweeted: “Gutted to be out injured but going to do everything I can to get back before the end of the season!
“Hopefully get chance to put the maroon shirt back on a couple more times.”
The news is a devastating blow for both Mitchell and Levein, given the promising full-back had enjoyed a sensational start to his stint with the capital club.
He claimed man of the match in three of his first six outings and lashed home his maiden goal in senior football with a 25-yard stunner against St Johnstone last month.
Hearts now face a selection crisis at left-back, with Mitchell’s deputy Jamie Brandon out for eight months with cruciate knee ligament damage and Connor Randall failing to impress in that role against the Steelmen last weekend.