Hearts were dealt a severe blow with the news that John Souttar and Uche Ikpeazu will miss between five and six months of action. Joel Sked looks back at the serious injuries and misfortune the club has suffered in recent years.
Jamie Walker - 2015/2016
Following a 2-0 win over Ross County in October 2015, Walker missed more than three months of action through a knee injury. Speaking in November 2015, then manager Robbie Neilson noted that the player’s knee injury issues could be tracked back to when Walker was a kid.
The player underwent shockwave therapy to try to get to the bottom of the problem but it resulted in knee surgery. He missed 12 games.
Sam Nicholson - 2016/2017
What was meant to be a trip to the hospital for some tidy-up surgery revealed more extensive damage to Nicholson’s knee. He had most recently played a starring role in a 3-1 win at Motherwell but with an international break following they player decided to have the work done.
The damage that was discovered kept the player out for 14 fixtures from the middle of October to the end of January.
Callum Paterson - 2016/2017
Anyone who knows or has watched Paterson will know there are no half measures when it comes to stepping onto the pitch. He plays on the edge and plays wholeheartedly. During the 2015/2016 campaign he missed around six weeks after landing awkwardly on his shoulder following a fully committed attempt to win a ball in the air.
That came against Kilmarnock at Tynecastle in February 2016. Less than a year later, against the same opposition at the same venue, the Scotland international’s season was over following a freak knee injury.
The player collided with Nathan Tyson and fell unnaturally. It saw the player suffer cruciate ligament damage and miss the rest of the season. It was his last appearance for the club.
John Souttar - 2016/2017
An awkward landing at Celtic Park on 29 January 2017 brought Souttar’s season to an end. The player ruptured his Achilles in a bizarre incident right at the end of the transfer window.
The player had to go under the knife and completed his rehabilitation to return to action in the Betfred Cup the following season.
Arnaud Djoum - 2017/2018
The Cameroonian’s campaign was ravaged by injury, meaning he was unable to build any sort of momentum. However his worst came in a fixture at Ross County February 2018.
Similar to Souttar the previous season, Djoum snapped his Achilles towards the end of the draw in Dingwall after twisting on the pitch. He feared he would be out until January 2019 but has recovered well ahead of schedule and has been a regular in recent weeks.
Jamie Brandon -2017/2018
A Development League match against Aberdeen in February 2018 is an afternoon Jamie Brandon won’t forget. The player picked up an injury and originally the club did not expect it to be too serious, only for scans to reveal a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and a torn meniscus tendon.
Speaking in June, the 20-year-old, who had shown encouraging signs with a number of committed displays, said 2018 was effectively a “write-off”, such was the severity of the injury.
Marcus Godinho - 2017/2018
The Canadian came into the team towards the end of the season, playing six games and impressing fans and management. However, Godinho, similar to Walker, has had his knee troubles. The full-back was ruled out for the final four fixtures of the campaign due to a recurring pain in his meniscus.
The club were so concerned that in May, Craig Levein asked Canada not to pick the player for the summer’s Toulon Tournament. The pain, it was discovered, was caused by microfracture in his knee and the player underwent surgery.
He is currently trying to get back to full fitness.
Christophe Berra - 2018/2019
Reliable and robust. That is exactly what Berra has been like since breaking through at Tynecastle in the mid-noughties. Berra has rarely been absent in his career, which has seen him rack up more than 570 appearances at club and international level.
Then, against Celtic earlier this season, he did the proverbial ‘put the body on the line’ to block a shot only to tear his hamstring. It was such a bad tear that he was ruled out for six months.
John Souttar - 2018/2019
Souttar had recovered from his serious injury in 2017 to develop into an outstanding young centre-back. This season he had taken his game onto another level and has led Hearts in Berra’s absence.
Playing for Scotland, the player landed awkwardly on his hip. Souttar tried to continue after the interval but was about to be subbed when he was sent off in Scotland 2-1 defeat to Israel. It was later discovered that he torn the lining in the hip joint.
Uche Ikpeazu - 2018/2019
“It’s quite an obscure injury, a fracture in an area of his foot that is really difficult to detect,” said Levein. The player had suffered the injury in a collision with Motherwell goalkeeper Trevor Carson. He missed the following three games but returned to face Rangers.
With the injury failing to clear the management staff and physios exhausted all avenues until they finally found out that it was a foot fracture. One, they said, normally associated with a car driving over someone’s foot.
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