Hearts defender John Souttar plays first game in six months

John Souttar played for Hearts Under-20s and is hopeful of making a first-team comeback next month
John Souttar played for Hearts Under-20s and is hopeful of making a first-team comeback next month
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John Souttar made his injury comeback for Hearts last night - his first game in six months after rupturing an Achilles tendon.

The 20-year-old centre-back played 45 minutes for the club's under-20 side in a 2-1 friendly defeat against Civil Service Strollers. He scored an early own goal but coped well overall and was relieved to be back in action after such a long absence.

Souttar suffered the injury at Celtic Park in January and was immediately ruled out for the remainder of the season. It was initially thought he would not play again until September at the earliest, however he is now targeting a first-team return at some point next month.

Hearts are determined not to rush the player back but medical and coaching staff are pleased by his rapid progress. He will play more under-20 matches before stepping back into the first-team fray.