Hearts reveal Armand Gnanduillet's injury return date
Armand Gnanduillet won’t be rushed back from a thigh injury but Hearts expect the French striker to return to action in the near future.
Having missed the first two Premier Sports Cup ties against Peterhead and Cove Rangers due to tightness in his thigh, a late decision will be made on whether Gnanduillet takes part in Saturday’s friendly with Sunderland at Tynecastle Park.
However, he should definitely feature against Stirling Albion at Forthbank on Tuesday night in the third Group A match. That would be his first competitive outing of the 2021/22 campaign.
Medical staff at Riccarton are convinced the problem is not serious and Gnanduillet has been given extra time to recover. Rather than accelerate the process, Hearts are content to let the 29-year-old ease his way back to full health.
“He could have played against Peterhead to be honest,” manager Robbie Neilson told the Evening News. “He was fit for Tuesday but we put him and Jamie Walker in the gym instead during the day to give them some fitness work.
“Both of them will be available for Saturday. Walker will definitely come back in, it’s whether we decide to keep Gnanduillet in the gym to make sure his thigh is okay for Tuesday. He will be 100 per cent available for Tuesday.”
With six points from two group matches, Hearts can all but secure qualification for the Premier Sports Cup’s knockout phase with another win in Stirling.
They are sitting top of Group A with a three-point advantage over both Inverness and Stirling Albion. Their final group game is against Inverness a week on Sunday at Tynecastle.