Yutaro Oda's scan results revealed as Hearts make a decision on their injured Japanese forward
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The problem is not as bad as first feared and Riccarton medical staff are hopeful he will be fit to return after the international break. The Japanese came on as a substitute during the 3-1 defeat at Celtic Park but had to be withdrawn due to the problem.
Hearts sent him for a medical scan and have been boosted by positive news. They have decided not to risk him against Aberdeen on Saturday in order to let him fully recuperate.
“His foot is fine, he just has a bit of bruising,” confirmed manager Robbie Neilson. “We will rest him this weekend, then he’s got the international break and he should be fine after that.”
Neilson wants his players to go full throttle over the final ten league games to secure third place and European football for a second successive year. Hearts are currently third in the Premiership, five points ahead of fourth-placed Hibs and seven better off than Aberdeen in fifth.
“This is when you need to continue to do it week in and week out, even going into our 41st game of the campaign. You need to do it every day in training as well so we can hopefully get ourselves over that line,” explained Neilson.
“We knew at the start of the season that Aberdeen and Hibs would be the main contenders for us. Both teams have had periods where they’ve found it difficult, as we have at times. People forget we had periods with European football and ten or 12 players out injured. We managed to continue to grind, now we need to get back on the horse again after the last two results.”
Hearts have won just three times in the last 13 years at Pittodrie, the last being in 2016. Neilson is not overly concerned by the statistics. “When we beat some record, then the next record gets chucked at you. That's just part and parcel of it these days,” he said.
“I don’t think we had won at Kilmarnock for years, so we did that. Then we hadn’t won at St Johnstone for ten years and we did that. We haven’t won at Aberdeen for seven years so we need to go and do that now.”