BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport
MARCUS GODINHO’S season is over after the Hearts star was penciled in for surgery to cure a persistent knee complaint.
The 20-year-old, who has been a stand-out for the Jambos since making his debut in March, was forced off after an hour of their 2-1 defeat against Rangers last month and was absent for last Friday’s reverse against Aberdeen.
Following the fixture at Pittodrie, Hearts boss Craig Levein stated: “Marcus’ knee has just been bothering him. He needs the summer to rest and let it settle down.”
However, Godinho was sent to visit a specialist in Bradford earlier this week and, following a check-up, the decision was made to carry out a minor operation to remedy the issue.
The Canada internationalist will go under the knife today [Wednesday] before returning to Edinburgh for rehabilitation.
Hearts’ medical and coaching staff are hopeful the procedure proves routine, nevertheless he is not expected to play a part in their remaining three Premiership games of the season.
Godinho previously endured 14 months on the sidelines due to a muscle tear followed by major cartilage damage to his knee following his arrival at Tynecastle in the summer of 2016.
However, he has fought back to become a regular for the Jambos at the tail-end of this season.
After spending the first half of the season in the proving ground of League 2 on loan at Berwick Rangers, he has made six appearances for the capital club since being handed his first start against Motherwell in the Scottish Cup.
His fine form was enough to catch the eye of Canada boss John Herdman and Godinho made his senior international bow in an April friendly against New Zealand.
In further bad news on the injury front for Hearts, precocious youngster Anthony McDonald has been ruled out of Sunday’s clash against newly-crowned champions Celtic due to shoulder ligament damage.
The 17-year-old suffered the injury during a 4-1 Development League defeat against the Hoops on Monday.
There were initial concerns that the playmaker had sustained a broken collarbone, which would have likely meant a premature end to his campaign, however subsequent scans have allayed those fears.
Nevertheless, he will not take part in training this week after being ordered to rest by Tynecastle medical staff, and will miss Sunday’s visit of Brendan Rodgers’ side.
Craig Levein is hopeful McDonald could return to full training at the start of next week, ensuring the youngster would be back in contention for the Edinburgh derby against Hibernian next Wednesday.
McDonald has made 12 appearances for Hearts since making debut at the age of 16 against Dundee in December, marking the occasion with both assists in a 2-0 victory. Last week he was rewarded for his progress with a new contract until the summer of 2021.