Craig Levein hopes to reinstate Joaquim Adao to the Hearts midfield against Aberdeen if the Angolan proves he is fully recovered from his recent head injury.
Levein, the Tynecastle club’s manager, admitted Adao was not 100 per cent against Rangers on Sunday and still needs a full week of training to improve. He suffered concussion at Dundee earlier this month but returned as a substitute in the 2-1 defeat at Ibrox.
The on-loan Sion player is considered a key part of Hearts’ engine room and Levein is hoping he proves himself ready for the match at Pittodrie on Friday night.
“Joaqium still isn’t 100 per cent, as you saw when he came on against Rangers. He still isn’t fully up to speed yet,” Levein told the Evening News.
“He struggled a little bit in training last week. He is over the concussion side of things but it just knocked him back a little bit.
“I thought when he came on he made a couple of silly mistakes which he wouldn’t normally make. I’m hoping another week’s training will have him ready to go come Friday.”
Adao, 25, has made ten appearances for Hearts since signing a short-term loan deal in January. He is due to return to Sion at the end of the season but Levein would like him to stay in Edinburgh if a deal can be negotiated.
Tynecastle officials will discuss the possibility of another loan agreement or a permanent transfer over the coming weeks.