Kilmarnock V Hearts at Rugby Park : Match Preview

13 April 2017

Kilmarnock winger Greg Kiltie is glad spell on the sidelines is over

Greg Kiltie is enjoying match days at Kilmarnock again after enduring six months of helplessness through injury.

It was thought that the 20-year-old attacker would miss the rest of the season after having surgery on a tendon behind the knee in October.

However, he returned for the Ladbrokes Premiership match against Inverness at the beginning of the month then played against Rangers - only his seventh appearance of the season - before sitting out the trip to Celtic at the weekend.

Kiltie hopes to be back for the visit of Hearts to Rugby Park on Friday night and is thankful that a "frustrating" time on the sidelines is over.

He said: "It was not the season I exactly wanted but it is a positive to be back on the pitch.

"It was very difficult. Trying to get your head round the fact that you are not able to be on the pitch with the boys for six months, is not ideal to say the least.

"It was never nice on match day, coming in to watch the boys knowing you have no input whatsoever on the pitch.

"Of course you can go in the dressing room and wish them all the best but not being on the pitch to be able to help them is honestly the worst thing ever.

"There was loads of games at Christmas to come and watch and I couldn't be part of any of them.

"But there was the break in January and I could see the end. I started to run at the end of January and I was thinking I could get games before the end of the season, so that helped a lot.

"I couldn't ask for a better rehab. I would love to play every game now but I have been out for six months, so it is going to be hard to get my body back into it.

"I just look to play as many games as possible, take care of myself and look forward to next season."

On-loan defender Kristoffer Ajer returns after having to sit out last week's match against parent club Celtic.

Rory McKenzie will see a specialist about a knee injury which keeps him out, while on-loan striker Conor Sammon cannot play against his parent club.

Meanwhile, Hearts head coach Ian Cathro is relaxed about the backing given to him by owner Ann Budge and reiterated that there are no "grey" areas at Tynecastle.

Budge released a lengthy statement on the club's official website on Wednesday bringing the Jambos fans up to date on various issues such as the redevelopment of the main stand.

She also saw fit to clarify the role of director of football Craig Levein, saying: "For the avoidance of doubt, Ian picks the team."

Budge stressed her support for 30-year-old Cathro, who has been under scrutiny since taking over in December, which she claimed "at times, has reached ludicrous proportions".

Cathro said: "It makes no difference.

"I haven't been through all the details yet but it is one of the positive things about the club, that the fans and everyone is kept informed about the feelings of the owner and the leadership of the club.

"I know that it is a regular thing.

"One of the reasons that this is the right club is because of the leadership that is here, the support that is here.

"I don't see a need to continually go into details of that.

"There isn't a grey area. There's maybe some misunderstandings that continue to exist but they are not our responsibility.

"For me things are very clear. They were before day one and they remain the case now.

"It is a very strong comfortable working relationship that we all have here."

Midfielder Sam Nicholson serves the second of his two-game suspension, while Aaron Hughes continues to recover from a calf injury.