Hearts manager Robbie Neilson says he doesn’t expect Peter Haring to be 100 per cent for another “two or three months”.
The popular Austrian has appeared in the last two friendly matches, against Falkirk and Partick Thistle, after being absent from the first-team squad for over a year with a pelvic/groin problem. His last appearance was the 2-1 defeat to Celtic in the 2019 Scottish Cup final.
Fans are keen to have the player, who impressed greatly in his debut season after signing from SV Ried, back in the fold as quickly as possible.
However, Neilson - speaking on the day the club signed ex-Rangers midfielder Andy Halliday - urged some caution as he doesn’t want to rush him back too soon.
He told BBC Radio Scotland’s Sportsound programme: “Peter’s been great recently but as you know he’s been out for a long, long time.
“He stepped up his comeback with 30 minutes against Partick the other day, but we don’t want to rush Peter and throw him in early when he’s not ready.
“I think it’ll be another two or three months before he’s really ready and 100 per cent at it.
“He’s a real quality player but I just don’t want to rush him. Once he is fit there will be certain games where I want [Haring and Halliday] in there together. Two strong defensive players who can allow the attacking players to go and do the business.”