Date: 4th May 2008 at 10:11pm
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Hearts’ forgotten man Bruno Aguiar is in line for a first-team return before the end of the season, according to the club’s official website.

Aguiar has had a serious ankle injury that has kept him out of action for more than a year. However he’s recently taken part in some reserve matches and Stevie Frail is hoping that he’ll be fit enough to play at least some part in the club’s remaining matches, especially considering the fact that Hearts have nothing to play for.

Frail said:

‘If Bruno gets game time it will be more for a psychological thing for him.

‘Not having so much resting on these games it might be good to give him some game time to help get him over a couple of hurdles and make sure he’s firing on all cylinders come pre season.’

As has been the case with many what I would refer to as ‘neat and tidy’ midfielders at Hearts over the years, Aguiar is a player who at one stage appeared to be very popular with the Tynecastle crowd.

I tend to find that the fans are easily impressed with players who look accomplished in possession of the ball, regardless of how much (or little) their play actually affects a match. I would point to Thomas Flogel and more recently, Ruben Palazuelos as examples of such players.

Aguiar is another who for me falls into this category – he very rarely appeared to have a poor game, but it was equally rare that he’d be a stand-out in terms of what he was able to produce as far as tangible results were concerned.

Having said that, in comparison to what Hearts have had in their midfield for the majority of this season, I’d actually be quite happy at the prospect of Aguiar coming back in. Previously I had my doubts over his worth to the team largely because it tended to either be him or Julien Brellier who would play in the centre, and for me the Frenchman won that particular contest every time for the right to partner Paul Hartley.

But these days Hearts have no-one capable of dominating the midfield. Eggert Jonsson, Larry Kingston and Palazuelos have all tried this and failed, and although I did say that Aguiar has generally been a player who was similar to these guys in terms of his patchiness, I can at least recall matches where he’s been outstanding in this position in the past. For example a 2-1 Tynecastle win over Celtic when Roman Bednar scored twice still lingers in the memory – the guy was fantastic that day and ran the game in a similar way to the likes of Jim Bett when he was in his prime. So Aguiar certainly does have the ability, if not the consistency.

As Frail pointed out though, because Aguiar has had such a bad injury, he could be psychologically shot to pieces. If you’re not completely sure what I’m getting at, just think about Neil McCann’s approach to the game since the injury he got at Kilmarnock a couple of years back – scarred to the point of hardly ever committing to a serious challenge. If Aguiar is in the same boat, then he may never get the chance to realise the potential that he has, which would be a big shame.

Obviously though, we’d like that not to be the case, and that Bruno can make a full recovery and help to beef up the Hearts midfield.