Hearts star Aaron Hughes doubtful to face Aberdeen

AARON HUGHES remains doubtful for Hearts' crucial league trip to Aberdeen on Saturday due to an ongoing calf problem. The defender's recovery is expected to take another week to ten days.

Tuesday, 14th March 2017, 5:30 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 10:09 am
Aaron Hughes is recovering from injury

He has missed the past three matches against Partick Thistle, Ross County and Hamilton, although coaching staff were hopeful he might be fit for the trip to Pittodrie.

Whilst not ruling him out, head coach Ian Cathro admitted today that the 37-year-old Northern Irishman will not be rushed into playing if he isn’t ready.

“It’s something which is disappointing for us. It’s a case of just managing it properly and making sure he is given the full time to recover,” Cathro said. “We will look towards Aberdeen but the most important thing is we look after him properly. We’re probably looking at another week to ten days.”

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Cathro declared himself pleased with Saturday’s defensive display in the 4-0 win over Hamilton Academical at Tynecastle. Krystian Nowak and Tasos Avlonitis were again paired together in central defence in Hughes’ absence and that partnership will almost certainly continue in Aberdeen.

“Defensively we were strong against a team with two strikers who were playing direct and quickly. That is difficult for the centre-backs,” said Cathro. “They co-ordinated well together and were in the right positions.

“We managed to stay high with energy and pressing and we were in the right place for the second balls. It was a strong defensive performance and that allowed the team to create the chances we created.”