Kyle aiming to be fit

Tynecastle marksman fears a second operation could end career

Kyle hoping to be fit for the start of pre-season training after undergoing hip surgery

Hearts striker Kevin Kyle is quietly confident he will be fit and raring to go for the start of next season after enduring a six-month injury nightmare.

The 29-year-old first had surgery on his hip six years ago, and he has been forced to undergo a second operation after the problem resurfaced in January.

But the former Scotland forward is determined to return to action next season, although he remains concerned that the second surgery could end his career.

"With the experience of 2005 I tend to become paranoid when I get injured," he said. "Those thoughts are still in my head just now.

Worry

"I'm fortunate that I'm 30 in June. It would be worse if I was going to be 20. It was worrying. I was wondering if I would need to pack it in.

"I'm on crutches for six weeks, then for seven weeks after that it's building up the muscles. After 13 weeks it's running and once running is comfortable, it's a case of how quickly I can get fit. That will coincide with July or August.

"It's all repaired now. Since January it's been torture. I've not had that many injuries but the two I've had - the hip injuries - have been quite serious.

"I know I'll get back and hopefully it will be at the beginning of the season and, touch wood, it will be the end of the hip problems."