Hearts' John Souttar sidelined after suffering dizziness

Hearts have again ruled defender John Souttar out of this weekend's match with Ross County after he became dizzy during a training session.

Friday, 24th November 2017, 5:30 am
Updated Wednesday, 6th December 2017, 11:49 am
John Souttar suffered concussion while playing for Scotland Under-21s
John Souttar suffered concussion while playing for Scotland Under-21s

Souttar had to withdraw from a running exercise earlier this week and has been discounted from Saturday’s match at Tynecastle Park as a precaution.

The problem relates to concussion he suffered two weeks ago whilst on international duty with Scotland Under-21s. He went off after 68 minutes of the 1-1 European Championship qualifying draw against Latvia and was kept in hospital overnight.

He returned to Riccarton last week but Hearts medical staff immediately ruled him out of last weekend’s Premiership game against Partick Thistle.

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Manager Craig Levein was hopeful Souttar might recover to face Ross County tomorrow but, after complaining of dizziness, he will not be risked.

“He was running the other day and he felt dizzy,” explained Levein. “It was quite a bad knock he got, he had a bit of whiplash and was in hospital. There are new guidelines on this type of thing and we’ll follow them religiously. It’s not something you mess about with.

“John has been in and been on the bike and doing other bits and pieces, but he’s not ready for Saturday. He’s made good progress in the last week so I’m hopeful in another week’s time he might be okay.”

More positive news surrounds the Ghanaian midfielder Prince Buaben. He has been sidelined for the last month with a persistent hamstring problem but is available tomorrow.

“Prince has had one thing after another but he’s been back on the training ground,” said Levein. “Touch wood, we’ve hopefully got to the point where he’s injury-free. He’s available, although he wouldn’t start this weekend. He could make the bench.

“I’m encouraged that we’re starting to look like we can put together a midfield which can cope with a number of different things. We still have Harry Cochrane there if we need him.”