Teenage Hearts striker Rory Currie should return physically stronger after his knee injury due to extra time in the gym, according to manager Craig Levein.
Coaching staff at Riccarton want Currie to improve his body and leg mass to help him cope against senior professionals in the Ladbrokes Premiership.
The 19-year-old won’t play again until next season after rupturing his lateral knee ligament in November. He is making progress from the injury and has been told to work on strengthening muscles in the club gym.
“Rory is coming along well,” explained Levein. “He has his brace off so he’s strengthening his legs now, which is important. In some ways, he is very weak physically.
“He doesn’t have a frame which is easy to put muscle on to. We’re hoping this longer period of time in the gym should help him.”
Asked if there was even a slim chance of Currie appearing in a maroon shirt before the season is out, Levein replied: “I’ll be very surprised if he plays before the summer. I think we’re looking at next season.”
Hearts will make a late decision on the fitness of striker Steven Naismith for today’s Premiership match at Ross County. The on-loan Norwich forward is suffering from a bout of tendonitis and is rated 50/50 to play in Dingwall.