With Soufian El Hassnaoui’s injury problems curtailing his Hearts career. Here are four examples of players in Scottish football who did not live up to their potential because of their bodies inability to get back to fitness.
The former Cowdenbeath defender flourished while at Central Park and that seen Hearts come calling after a couple of years in Fife. He would be synonymous with the Jambos faithful over his 14 years as a player at Tynecastle. Yet, he could have done more in his career – especially on the international stage – if it was not for chronic knee issues that forced him to retire in 1997. He first did damage to the joint in 1986 during a reserve fixture against Hibernian. Two years later, he crumpled untouched in a match against Rangers with a problem in the same knee.
Starting in 2009, knee surgery, a torn thigh muscle, and a hernia operation kept Driver out of action for big spells over the course of two years. Around that time, the Hearts winger was so sought after that his talent even got the rules changed for him to be eligible for Scotland as well as his birth country of England. However, he has not turned out for either. These setbacks seemed to not only affect his ability, but, his confidence as well. As a result, he would not live up to prospective suitors value of him; which had been up to a million pounds at one point in time. He has been rebuilding his career in the Netherlands but his side De Graafschap suffered relegation this season.
The Dunfermline-born midfielder is Celtic and Scotland captain, but, he has had numerous injuries that have halted seasons dead in their tracks. The former Hibee used to have explosive speed, but, now at the age of 30 has slowed right down. In his last 13 seasons he has failed to play in 28 of the 38 league fixtures seven times. If it was not because of his hamstring, hip, metatarsal or the many ankle issues, he could have already amassed over 400 appearances for the Hoops. Instead, he is looking to redefine his game as he progresses into the latter stages of his footballing days.
He was thought to be as talented as they come when talking about centre backs. Grandson of Scottish football Hall of Famer Jimmy Delaney, he was tipped for similar greatness when he made his debut at 16. He progressed nicely and had attracted interest abroad for his services. At 20, he entered the national team fray for a friendly and what should have been a moment of joy ended in misery. A horrendous challenge by Romania’s Ionel Ganea ruled him out for three years and sadly due to a recurrence of the knee injury he had to give up the game on medical grounds, 10 years after his debut.
You can follow @MichaelWood_SJ on Twitter.