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Valdas Ivanauskas <-auth None auth-> Dietmar Drabek
[M Muhlbauer 62]
10 of 019 Mirsad Beslija 83 F A


Hearts midfielder Paul Hartley will resist the temptation to rush back from injury to play in the Champions League second qualifying round.

The Scotland international has been unable to train with his team-mates in Austria this week due to a groin problem.

Hearts head coach Valdas Ivanauskas has already voiced serious concern the 29-year-old will not be available for the tie against Shakhtyor Soligorsk of Belarus or Bosnians Siroki Brijeg in the first leg at Murrayfield on July 26.

Hartley is set to see a specialist to assess the extent of the injury.

But the Hearts playmaker maintains he will not risk further problems by racing back before the injury has fully healed.

Hartley said: "I don't want to rush back. It is a tender area on the groin where the injury is.

"I don't want to race back into it and then set myself back for a few more weeks.

"It might take a bit of time but hopefully it will be right when I get back."

Hartley is refusing to set targets for his return as the Jambos also gear up for an assault on the Bank of Scotland Premier League title.

But, after a relatively injury-free career with clubs such as Millwall, Hibernian and St Johnstone, the midfielder concedes his bout of inactivity is doubly frustrating as he watched the 1-1 with LASK Linz on Wednesday night.

Hartley told Hearts World: "It was very frustrating watching the game and not being able to join in training.

"But I have just got to get on with it. It is not something I am used to in the 13 years I have been playing football.

"Hopefully, it will not be too long before I am back.

"You just have to take it day by day - I am not setting myself any targets. We will just see what happens.

"I just want to get back playing - it is as simple as that.

"I am well behind the lads in training but hopefully it will not be too long."

Taken from

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