Hearts boss admits club have examined training methods following last season’s injury nightmare


Hearts manager Craig Levein admits the club have carried out a root and branch examination of their training methods after being plagued by a spate of injuries last season.

Levein has confirmed that Peter Haring will require a further two month’s rest in a bid to cure a long standing pelvic complaint that hindered the midfielder last term.

However, the former Scotland boss is confident that there is no correlation between the set-backs to his players and the work carried out during the week.

The Oriam National Performance Centre at Heriot-Watt University

As a precaution, Hearts will only use two pitches at their Oriam base, as those surfaces are similar to Tynecastle.

Captain Christophe Berra (hamstring), John Souttar (hip), Uche Ikpeazu (foot), Steven Naismith (knee) and Haring were among first team regulars who endured lengthy lay-offs due to undergoing operations.

Michael Smith, Ben Garuccio, Callumn Morrison, Harry Cochrane, Demi Mitchell and Marcus Godinho also spent time on the sidelines.

“We’ve looked at the whole thing at great depth and we couldn’t find any pattern or any reason for it,” said Levein.

“We train on a lot of different pitches here and we decided we’re going to stick to a couple to see if that same surfaces helps, I don’t know.

“There is is no reason for it really, it is just a precaution, really. 

“There is no reason other than thinking let’s try and get a uniformity of surface.”

Levein, whose side host Stenhousemuir in the Betfred Cup tomorrow, added: “We’ve looked into it in great detail. Most of them were impact injuries and most happened in games.

“John Souttar got injured playing for Scotland, Christophe tore his hamstring off the bone falling awkwardly at Tynecastle.

“Uche was that thing with his foot when the goalkeeper landed on him at Motherwell and Naisy tore his cartilage during the match at Murrayfield.

“I don’t know if you call it bad luck.”


Levein, meanwhile, admits he is hopeful of having forward Naismith available for their Premiership opener at Aberdeen on August 4.

Naismith, who has not played since February, is expected to officially sign a permanent deal at the start of August when his Norwich City contract expires.

Levein added: “Could he back for the start of the league? Maybe, he’s back in full training. 

“If there’s a reserve game next week, he could take part in a bit of that. But he’s close. 

“Obviously we need to do the contract stuff but he’s close.”


Meanwhile, Ryan Edwards, who scored the opening goal in the 2-1 Scottish Cup final defeat to Celtic, is set to depart for English League One side Burton Albion.

The Australian joined on a two-year deal from Partick Thistle last summer but spent the first half of the campaign on loan at St Mirren and has struggled to make an impact in the side.