Hearts boss Craig Levein gives injury update on Joel Pereira and makes Zlamal claim
Hearts boss Craig Levein is hopeful of having on-loan Manchester United goalkeeper Joel Pereira fit for the visit of Motherwell on September 14.
The Portuguese shot-stopper suffered a thigh strain in the Jambos' 3-1 loss to Celtic last month and missed the 2-2 draw with Hamilton at Tynecastle as Colin Doyle deputised.
But the 23-year-old should be fit to return against the Steelmen as Hearts chase their first home league win of the season.
Levein said: "Joel should be okay for Motherwell. He had a slight strain in the Celtic game.
"He’s gone from playing reserve football at Man United to being thrown into first-team training and matches in quick succession, so he’s just got a little bit of a thigh strain from kicking.
“I’m hopeful that will settle down and he’ll be ready [for Motherwell].”
Pereira's arrival during the transfer window fuelled speculation that Bobby Zlamal - previously the Capital club's first choice in goal - could be nearing a Tynecastle exit, after the Czech 'keeper's form nose-dived to the extent that Levein felt he had to act.
But there was never any possibility of the 33-year-old leaving, according to the Hearts head coach, who has revealed the former Sigma Olomouc No.1 is doing his best to reverse the situation.
“I had a long conversation with Bobby and he recognises why he came out the team," Levein explained.
"He wants to fight for his place and get himself back in, which is good to hear.
“I took him out the spotlight for a bit to give him a chance to get his head back in gear and he’s been good in training.”