Christophe Berra hopes to return for Hearts before Christmas

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Hearts captain Christophe Berra is making strong progress in his recovery from injury and is hopeful of returning to action before Christmas.

The 33-year-old has been sidelined since tearing his hamstring in the victory over Celtic at Tynecastle just more than five weeks ago. The initial prognosis was that he may be out for as long as six months, meaning he could have been absent until February. However, Berra has been recovering well since undergoing the first operation of his career last month and is hoping to be back at the centre of Hearts’ defence earlier than anticipated.

Chrstophe Berra

Chrstophe Berra

“I’ve got a time in my head but I can’t reveal that because I don’t think the physios would be happy,” he said when asked when he expected to return. “I’ve passed all my targets so far, so hopefully it’s sooner rather than later. I won’t be back for Hallowe’en but it would be great if I could get back before Christmas. Fingers crossed.”

Hearts have won all four matches since losing Berra to injury and have conceded only one goal in his absence as they have motored five points clear at the top of the Premiership and booked their place in the quarter-finals of the Betfred Cup. The defender, who hopes to come off his crutches imminently, is relishing the prospect of returning to action with a high-flying team.

“I’m in week five of my recovery and it’s going well,” Berra told Radio Scotland. “I’ve been in the swimming pool and I’ve been working with the physios day in, day out.

“It’s the first time for me that I’ve had a big injury that’s kept me out for a long period but I’m just really positive about trying to make sure I come back stronger than before. Hopefully the team are still going well when I get back and I can come back in and be like a new signing.”