Hibs defender Ryan Porteous admits he is drawing inspiration from British tennis icon Andy Murray as he steps up his own recovery from injury.
The Scotland Under-21 internationalist and team-mate Fraser Murray, who are represented by Murray’s agency, spent time with the double Wimbledon champion at Queen’s Club on Tuesday.
As well as taking in practice sessions as Murray prepares to make his much-anticipated comeback from hip surgery in the doubles, the pair also sat down for a chat with the former world number one.
Like Andy Murray, Porteous has been out of action since January after undergoing knee surgery.
The 20-year-old returned to light training last week ahead of the squad officially gathering for pre-season preparations on Thursday.
And the centre-half, who still managed 18 appearances last term, admits being in the company of Murray has given him a lift as he attempts to be fit for the start of the new campaign.
Porteous said: “It’s surreal to have one of the best British sportsman ever to be your mentor and represent you, and he’s a real inspiration for a lot of people and definitely for myself.
“Coming back from a six month injury and seeng the way he does it, the sacrifices and hard work he’s put in.
“You need to try and replicate exactly what he’s doing and to have him as your mentor is an ideal situation.”
Hibs forward Murray has also not had injury woe to seek after being plagued by a groin injury for a year before making seven appearances during the second half of last season.
Manager Paul Heckingbottom has already said that the 20-year-old will be an integral part of the squad in the forthcoming campaign and Murray insists seeing his namesake in action was an unforgettable experience.
Speaking to the BBC, he said: “It was a bit surreal, coming down and watching him train.
“To see how he’s gotten over his injury in the last four months or so and how he’s moving freely now is good to see.
“I enjoyed it, it’s the first time I’ve seen him in person hit a tennis ball, so that was good as well.”