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Hearts defender targets Christmas return

Robbie Neilson, Hearts longest serving player, is hoping to be back "well before Christmas" as he steps up his rehabilitation from ankle surgery. Neilson is due to visit a consultant for a decision on returning to full time training, but the 28-year-old is already looking further ahead.

"I'd like to be back well before Christmas," he told Hearts.TV "Hopefully, I'll get the all-clear in 10 days' time and I can get back into full training.

"I haven't played for a while so I need to get a few reserve games before I hopefully start pushing for a first-team game."

Neilson has yet to play under new manager Csaba Laszlo and he feels slightly cut off from the rest of the squad.

"Obviously, when a new manager comes in, it makes it more difficult because he gets his team together and you don't feel as if you're part of the team," he said.

"But that's part and parcel of football and you have to make sure you work hard and get yourself back to 100% fit and hopefully get in his plans at some point."

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