Hearts defender John Souttar receives positive scan results on ankle injury

Hearts have received encouraging news on John Souttar's ankle after scans showed his injury is not as bad as first feared.

Hearts defender John Souttar receives treatment after injuring his ankle at Pittodrie
Hearts defender John Souttar receives treatment after injuring his ankle at Pittodrie

Souttar is expected to miss around three weeks of football and could therefore be back in action before the end of the month.

He was forced off in the first half of Sunday's opening Premiership match at Aberdeen after rolling his ankle. The area quickly began to swell and club officials were concerned he could be absent for a longer period with damaged ligaments.

However, scan results confirmed no serious injury and Hearts are now hopeful Souttar will return later in August or, at the very latest, early September.

The news will also be welcomed by the Scotland manager Steve Clarke, who is keen to name the defender in his squad for next month's European Championship qualifying double header against Russia and Belgium at Hampden Park.