Hearts midfielder Arnaud Djoum hopes to be back running by the end of the month as he continues his recovery from a ruptured Achilles tendon.
The 29-year-old Cameroonian has not played for the Jambos since suffering the horror injury in Dingwall during Hearts’ 1-1 draw with Ross County on February 17.
The Cup of African Nations winner feared he may not be back in action until the start of 2019, but his rehabilitation is going better than expected and he could be back playing for the Jambos by the start of September.
“I am recovering well, but this is a long injury,” said Djoum.
“Initially it was from eight to ten months, but I think I will be back in two.
“It depends on how quickly you recover, but I think by the end of June I will be able to run. After that it will still take time to get back, although I am ahead of schedule.
“If I can get back for the running part of pre-season I will be happy.
“I have been told that the manager’s pre-season is really hard. People who have worked with him before have said this.
“It is apparently very old school, but I want to be there. I can’t wait to be involved again.
“If the pre-season is hard then it can only be good for the team because the fitness work you do in the summer is crucial.
“Last season I didn’t do a pre-season, I came from playing in the Confederations’ Cup straight into the season.
“You definitely need that base of fitness in the summer to help you through the rest of the year.
“I have played under coaches in the past who give you a tough time in pre-season, so it’s nothing new to me.
“I just want to be able to run again, so I can be involved in some way.”