kyle urged not to give up hope of returning to game

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JIM JEFFERIES has urged Kevin Kyle to explore every avenue possible as the big striker battles to save his career.

Jefferies signed Kyle for Kilmarnock before bringing him to Hearts, where he played a key role in the team’s great run in the opening half of last season.

But the 30-year-old hasn’t played since January after he picked up a hip injury and admitted recently that he feared for his future in the game.

“Kevin actually phoned me the other day,” revealed Jefferies. “He was a bit down about everything, having been out for so long. A lot of people think his career could be over, but I hope that’s not the case. I hope he gets back.

“I’ve told him he should get an operation if it’s needed as he’d still be a fantastic player for Hearts if he could get himself fit.”

Jefferies is also confident that John Sutton will eventually make his mark for the Tynecastle club, even though the striker has had to sit on the bench for most of the season following his summer move from Motherwell.

“John had a great season last year,” added the former Hearts manager. “He’s all about the penalty box. He’s an instinctive player. He knows where to go to pick up chances.

“He’s a very good player who has the potential to do well. But it takes time to get to know new team-mates, no matter where you go.

“He just has to battle away, put a few balls in the net in training and force his way in.

“It’s up to the manager to pick the players he thinks are right for him, just as I did. But I still think John can do a job for Hearts.”