Hearts welcome Michael Smith back from isolation as John Souttar begins running

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HEARTS star Michael Smith has returned to full training following a period of isolation.

The 32-year-old, who signed a new one-year contract last week, was absent for the Jambos’ last Championship fixture against Dundee as he followed precautionary Covid protocols along with his family.

His presence was sorely missed during the 3-1 reverse at Dens Park.

Northern Ireland defender Michael Smith | Hearts news
Michael Smith has emerged as Hearts’ Mr Consistency (Pic: Hearts TV)

However, Smith finally rejoined training at Hearts’ Riccarton base yesterday and will be in contention for the capital club’s trip to face Alloa on Saturday.

The Northern Ireland internationalist recently tweeted: “Day 9 of isolation… nearly there. Kids have handled it a lot better than the parents and dog!!”

Scotland international John Souttar has also reached another waypoint on his road to recovery after resuming running.

The 24-year-old suffered a devastating snapped achilles tendon in August which, in all likelihood, will rule him out for the rest of the campaign.

It was the third time the luckless centre-half has endured the same injury.

However, Souttar is ahead of schedule in his recovery and, while Hearts medical staff will not rush his rehabilitation, he was back on the grass for the first time last Friday for a gentle jogging session and continued his progress on Tuesday.