MEHDI TAOUIL is targeting Hearts’ Scottish Cup fifth-round tie with St Johnstone on Sunday week as the date for his comeback from a hamstring injury.
The Moroccan internationalist, absent for the last three matches, began light running at Riccarton this week and intends to rejoin full training with the Hearts squad on Monday. Provided he suffers no reaction, he could be in contention for the cup tie.
Taouil injured his hamstring during the Edinburgh derby victory over Hibs at Easter Road on January 2.
He was frustrated at the interruption after playing a key role in victories over Dunfermline and Motherwell but is now nearing a return to action.
“The recovery is going well. I started running at the beginning of the week so hopefully I’m going to be back training with the team soon,” he told the Hearts website.
“I’m very happy we have a break because it means I’m not missing a game [this weekend]. That gives me more time to come back.
“It’s always bad to be injured, this one came really at the wrong time for me. I was starting to feel good but it’s not a problem, I’m working quite hard at the moment and I’m going to keep working hard to come back strong. It’s not like a very long injury so it’s not a big problem.
“I’m going to try to be ready for next week or the week after so it [the cup match] could be a target for me.
“We will decide with the manager and the physio what it’s possible to do.
“If it’s possible for me to be back in the team for the St Johnstone game, I will be quite happy.”