Perry Kitchen remains doubtful for Hearts’ Premiership opener against Celtic on Sunday. The influential American is still feeling the effects of a hamstring strain suffered against Birkirkara in Malta last month.
He resumed light training at Riccarton in the middle of last week, but Hearts coaches are unsure if he will recover fully for the league season starting. Hearts open their Ladbrokes Premiership campaign at home to the champions this weekend before visiting Aberdeen a week on Saturday.
Kitchen has made a huge impression in Edinburgh since joining Hearts in February. He is considered a key component of the club’s midfield and head coach Robbie Neilson will give him every chance to prove his fitness.
“Perry has been back training and we’re building him up,” he told the Evening News. “We’re trying to get him ready for the Celtic game, but he might not make it. If not, I’m sure he’ll be back for the following week.
“He’s been resting the injury and he started back with us on Wednesday. It’s just seeing how long it takes now. We want to get him back as soon as possible. He’s a big player for us. We’ll try to have him back at 100 per cent.”