Hearts boss gives injury update on former Leeds United star Aidan White
Craig Levein is hopeful that recently-recruited left-back Aidan White will be equipped to prosper for Hearts after a full pre-season.
The 27-year-old former Leeds United and Barnsley left-back signed for the Tynecastle club last month on a contract until 2021.
White hasn’t played for more than two years after being plagued by a groin problem but is now injury-free and has been working hard at Hearts’ Riccarton base to build himself back up to the necessary level of fitness to compete at the top level.
Levein is not anticipating the highly-regarded Irishman featuring in the first team this term but is encouraged by the progress being made.
“Aidan’s getting better,” the manager told the Evening News. “He’s not outside joining in training yet but he’s definitely improving. He’s been out for so long that we’re just going to take it stage by stage. Once he’s back running, we’ll look at when he can come into ball work with the rest of the lads.
“I don’t know if we’ll see him this season. Once he gets to a stage where he’s robust enough to come into training, I’ll need a period of time to assess where he is. So it would be safer to say that if he can get through pre-season without any problems, then obviously we’re going to have a good player on our hands for next season. That’s the plan for him.”
Levein, whose side host Rangers today, hinted that teenage midfielders Harry Cochrane and Andy Irving could be in line for some game time in the five post-split fixtures. “Harry and young Andy, who has been doing well, might be involved at some point in the next few weeks,” he said, when asked if any young players were knocking on the door. “The others are out on loan.”
Meanwhile, Hearts are set to face Northern Irish side Glenavon in a pre-season friendly. The match, at Mourneview Park on Saturday, July 6, will form part of the Lurgan-based club’s 130th anniversary celebrations. Hearts signed teenager Bobby Burns from Glens last summer.