Peter Haring is ready to end a six-month absence by returning for Hearts

Peter Haring is ready for a long-awaited Hearts return almost six months since his last competitive game. The Austrian midfielder is fit and available for the remaining nine games of the cinch Premiership campaign.

He sustained concussion against Aberdeen back in mid-October and hasn’t played since. Recurring symptoms led to several setbacks as Haring tried to return to action during the winter months. He has trained fully for much of the last month and is ready for a comeback.

“Peter is back with us,” manager Robbie Neilson told the Evening News ahead of Saturday’s trip to Kilmarnock. “He has been in full training for the last three or four weeks so it's really just match time he needs now. It's about getting up to speed.

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“The difficulty is that we don't have reserve games now so it's getting him that game time to try and get him ready. He is fine and ready to go again. It's obviously been a long time since he last played in October. It has taken time but the main thing is he is over it now. It's important for the run-in to get experienced player in who have been over the course before.”

Haring is nearing the end of his fifth season at Tynecastle Park and is regarded as an influential figure. Neilson must decide how the player can contribute during the last few weeks of the campaign as Hearts push to finish third in the league and qualify for European competition again.

Defender Michael Smith is also available after suffering his own bout of concussion in Hearts’ most-recent fixture against Aberdeen two weeks ago. At 34, he brings plenty experience to the defensive line. Cammy Devlin also suffered concussion whilst on international duty with Australia and won’t make the trip to Kilmarnock.

“Cammy will miss out but other than that the rest of them are fine apart from the long-term injured guys – Craig Gordon, Liam Boyce, Craig Halkett, Beni Baningime and Gary Mackay-Steven,” said Neilson. “Michael Smith is fine. He missed training for a couple of days but it was just mild. He has been back training all this week.

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“Kilmarnock is always difficult. You need your experienced boys who know the game and who will do the hard yards for you. We are going there looking for three points.”

Peter Haring trained with Hearts at Ricarton on Thursday morning.Peter Haring trained with Hearts at Ricarton on Thursday morning.
Peter Haring trained with Hearts at Ricarton on Thursday morning.