Hearts have taken new signing Danny Amankwaa out of the first-team squad in order to get him fit. The Danish winger is spending two weeks working on sprinting and other physical attributes at Riccarton before he returns to action.
Manager Craig Levein and the club’s coaching staff decided Amankwaa was some way off the fitness level they required after his first three games in Scotland. He arrived on an 18-month contract from FC Copenhagen last month after making only ten appearances in Denmark this season.
Amankwaa did not travel to the Highlands on Saturday for Hearts’ 1-1 draw with Ross County and is not expected to be involved against Rangers this weekend.
“I’ve left Danny out because we’re just looking at his fitness stuff and he’s a little bit off it,” Levein explained to the Evening News. “He’s the type of player I want to be able to do repeated sprints.
“We’ve taken him out and we’re spending two weeks trying to get him right up to speed. He’s been doing extra work on his own so hopefully it will all help when he comes back in.”
Levein is encouraged by news that Steven Naismith is likely to return from injury to face his former club at Ibrox. The on-loan Norwich City forward wasn’t risked against Ross County due to a hamstring complaint.
“Naismith’s hamstring was tight and he was still feeling it. I was reticent to use him,” said Levein. “It would have been a double whammy if he’d torn his hamstring on top of what happened to Arnaud Djoum. He will be back this week.”