Hearts give team news v Aberdeen - 3 boosts and 2 blows plus Odel Offiah update

Hearts manager Steven Naismith has been speaking to the press ahead of the Aberdeen game

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Hearts will enjoy a huge boost to their squad this weekend as they welcome back Beni Baningime and Cameron Neuwienhof ahead of their home clash against Aberdeen. However, just as the door opens to welcome back much-missed stars, Alex Cochrane has had to walk into the medical room and is set for a few weeks on the side.

Speaking in the pre-match press conference, Jambos boss Steven Naismith said: “Alex Cochrane took a blow to the ankle in training when he went for a block. He will probably be at least six weeks or so. It’s just one of those things that happens in training.”

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Naismith also confirmed that Barrie McKay continues to remain on the sidelines but believes it may not be long before the team welcomes back long-term absentee Craig Gordon into the matchday picture.

“Craig Gordon is back out on the pitch but there’s no real return date for him. He’s back and he’s doing quite a bit. But he’s in a good place, he’s hungry and desperate to get back involved. He’s doing most football stuff. He’s not back in with the squad in terms of game related stuff. He’s on the grass two/three days a week.”

The newly confirmed boss was also able to provide an update on the wellbeing of loanee Odel Offiah, who Hearts are set to welcome back next week, and 21-year-old Yutaro Oda. The Tynecastle boss revealed Oda suffered from a stomach bug during the two weeks leading up to the international break but has now returned to his 'old self'.

Naismith continued: “Some days he was feeling fine but he’s been away on international break, played three games. He’s come back and is looking his old self.”

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As for the Brighton loanee, Naismith added: 'There were some issues with him feeling light-hearted and we didn’t want to take any risks so between ourselves and Brighton we’ve sent him off to see a specialist and make sure everything’s fine for him to continue exercise.

“Over the last three years it’s been well documented the players that have had irregularities - it was just precautionary. He’ll be back involved with us.”

Hearts and Aberdeen will kick-off at 3pm at Tynecastle tomorrow, Saturday 16 October.

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