Hearts manager Craig Levein delivers latest injury update on Steven Naismith and Peter Haring

Key Tynecastle pair are aiming to return to action after extended time on the sidelines

Thursday, 24th October 2019, 7:00 am
Updated Thursday, 24th October 2019, 8:41 am
Peter Haring (left) and Steven Naismith will not be rushed back from injury by Hearts

Hearts have decided to wait rather than push Steven Naismith and Peter Haring to return from injury. Manager Craig Levein explained today that he is now letting events follow their natural course rather than rush either player back into action.

Scotland striker Naismith has not played since the end of August due to a hamstring complaint, while Austrian midfielder Haring has been absent since last season's Scottish Cup final with pelvic issues. Both are key players for the Edinburgh club and are close to resuming first-team duties, but Levein explained that he is no longer probing for specific return dates.

Neither player is expected back in time to face Livingston this weekend as things stand.

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"I've just put it on the back burner with them," Levein told the Evening News. "I feel I'm constantly pushing and pressing them to give me a time for coming back and it isn't always that easy. I've taken the foot off the gas a little bit.

"They have been getting close to being ready and I've been desperate to get them back in the team, so you push a bit harder. Now I'm taking the foot off the gas and letting things take their own course. We will just have to deal with any situation that arises between now and them coming back."

Striker Craig Wighton could make his return from injury for the trip to West Lothian, provided he suffers no reaction after playing for Hearts Reserves against Hibs in the SPFL Reserve Cup on Tuesday.

Other first-team players such as Jamie Walker, Craig Halkett, John Souttar, Conor Washington and Ben Garuccio remain sidelined as they battle back towards full fitness after various injury problems.