Hearts hero struggling with groin injury ahead of Celtic Park trip

By David Walton

May 3, 2022

Hearts manager Robbie Neilson has disclosed yet another big blow for their supporters ahead of the game against Celtic with striker Ellis Simms struggling with a groin injury.

Simms has been one of Hearts’ key men going forward in 2022 with 6 goals in 17 games for the Jambos [Transfermarkt].

In recent league games against Dundee United and Ross County, Simms has had to settle for what were surprising cameo roles. Neilson had previously been putting him right in his starting XI as their focal point.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

However, ahead of their trip to Celtic Park this week, it turns out their key man is struggling with an injury.

As quoted by the Edinburgh Evening News, Neilson said: “Simms has a problem with his groin. He’s had it for six or eight weeks now and we are just trying to manage it.

“We have an eye on the cup final. If we just keep playing him and keep playing him, we will get to the cup final and he won’t be 100 per cent. We are hopeful we can manage it.”

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Celtic ready for Hearts test as Jambos likely to prioritise cup final

Simms isn’t the only big Hearts player likely to be missing. On Sunday, we spoke about how the Tynecastle side could be missing several more of their big stars. Indeed, the likes of Beni Beningime, Craig Halkett, and John Souttar could all miss out too.

As for their forward line, it’s likely to be the case that Liam Boyce starts at Celtic Park. He scored against the Hoops at Tynecastle earlier this year. However, despite that, he’s seldom caused us any real problems at Parkhead.

Given the high intensity of the game this weekend, you have to imagine Neilson will want to avoid bringing Simms on. Celtic will be looking to get at them from the start and play a high tempo that they’ll find difficult to deal with. If they manage that, Simms won’t be anywhere near it.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Hearts will almost certainly be looking to prioritise the cup final from here on in. They already have 3rd place wrapped up whilst they can’t get any higher. Whilst they’ll be looking for some good performances in their final 3 league fixtures, they’ll also be shielding their players.

Of course, Celtic can’t even consider that as being a possibility in their build-up. The Hoops will know how much Neilson would love to delay our title-win even further.

It’s going to be an intriguing match on Saturday. Victory for Celtic and the league championship is all but won.

In other news, The overlooked benefit for Celtic youngsters if Champions League football is confirmed