Arnaud Djoum on course for Hearts' Premiership opener
Arnaud Djoum has a chance of being ready for the start of Hearts' Premiership campaign after making swift progress in his recovery from a ruptured Achilles' tendon.
The midfielder sustained the horror injury away to Ross County in February, and was initially expected to be out until well into the new season, with the prognosis generally between six and nine months on the sidelines. However, just four months into his rehabilitation, the Cameroon internationalist is closing in on a return to full training. Djoum is unlikely to play any part in Hearts’ Betfred Cup campaign, but it is not beyond possibility that the 29-year-old will be in contention for the Premiership opener away to Hamilton Accies on August 4.
“I would think Arnaud will be back training in about a month,” manager Craig Levein told the Evening News. “He’s doing some running in the pool just now and he’ll start running outside next week. I’m hoping he’ll be back for the start of the league campaign. He’s doing well, so we’ll see.”
Levein reported positive news on the injuries that hindered John Souttar and Christophe Berra towards the end of last season. The manager feared Souttar may require hip surgery after an injury he sustained against Celtic at the start of May caused him to miss the final two games of last season and subsequently withdraw from the Scotland squad for the friendlies against Peru and Mexico earlier this month.
Captain Berra was afflicted by pain in his ankle throughout the closing weeks of the campaign, but Levein has been pleased to learn the problems which afflicted his two centre-backs appear to have subsided.
“John’s done all of the training so far and he’s coped with everything so I think he’ll be fine,” said the manager. “Christophe had that issue with his ankle at the end of last season but it’s settled down and he’s fine.”