HEARTS forward Soufian El Hassnaoui has undergone another operation in a bid to save his Tynecastle career.
The Dutchman had groin surgery on Thursday and is out for six weeks, leaving him distraught at his ongoing misfortune since joining Hearts two years ago.
Head coach Robbie Neilson and his coaching staff have pledged to help him through the difficulties, although it remains to be seen whether he is part of next season’s plans.
El Hassnaoui joined Hearts in June 2014 on a three-year contract after leaving Sparta Rotterdam. He was recovering from a groin operation at the time and required another one weeks later. He then missed three months of his first season in Scotland with an ankle injury.
A torn cruciate ligament suffered against Preston last summer denied him a flying start to his second year with Hearts. The 26-year-old hasn’t made an appearance this season, and the latest groin problem effectively ends his campaign before it has started.
A scan on Wednesday revealed surgery was required and confirmed another setback for a player beset by injuries. “It is going to be another six weeks for him, which will be difficult for him because he has come back, got injured again, come back, got injured again. It will be a difficult period and we just need to support him through it,” explained Neilson.
Hearts head to Dundee today following three home wins last week and confidence levels are high within the camp. However, Neilson stressed that his players cannot rest on laurels. They are striving for more points to secure a lofty finish in the Ladbrokes Premiership and with it a spot in the Europa League qualifying rounds.
“We’ve won three games in a week and the boys feel confident but that’s done now,” cautioned Neilson. “We need to go up to Dundee and face a difficult game. Last time up there, we could’ve been 3-0 down at half-time. We managed to turn things round in the second half and got away with three points but Dens Park is a hard place to go.”