Hearts today announced that Lawrence Shankland didn’t train today. He’s injured. He shouldn’t be a contender for tomorrow, but they are giving him every chance to “prove his fitness” for the game against us. Which means he’ll play, for sure.
If he does, he risks turning a relatively minor injury into a major one. This is why I don’t like us rushing players back into the team. It’s why Ibrox paid a punishingly high price for its own foolishness today.
The Mooch confirmed two of the worst kept secrets in the game; that Roofe will not play again this season and neither will Tom Lawrence. They’ve pushed these guys too hard to get them back into the team. Roofe was thrown in when it was clear he was nowhere near ready. They are essentially doing the same with Colak.
The Mooch spoke recently about how there is “no such thing” as a player playing 100% fit. As I wrote at the time (in fact before that) he’s ready to risk the future well-being of his footballers for his own personal shot at glory. Roofe has paid the price for that. You shouldn’t need a hip operation at his age, and yet that’s what he’s having.
How much do Hearts want to beat Celtic? Enough to risk their player? Apparently so. Maeda is rated as 50/50 for this one. Leave him out Ange, don’t risk it.
It’s not worth it at all. It’s not worth taking a chance with the player because we absolutely have enough in the squad to get by anyway. Let Hearts take chances with their striker. Let Ibrox throw players into games doped up and taking painkillers when they should be sitting in the stands. Let’s give our boys the maximum chance to recover.
Maeda will be missed, but as I wrote yesterday others are entitled to think that this can be their day, their moment, and we should be keen to see how they do. Maeda should enjoy it from the side-lines and get himself fit for the games which are left.