Hearts goalkeeper Craig Gordon has addressed reports that he will retire from football after suffering a season-ending double leg break.

The Scotland international was stretchered off during a 2-2 draw with Dundee United on Christmas Eve after an accidental collision with Steven Fletcher.

Gordon, who turns 40 on New Year’s Eve, previously feared his career was over a decade ago following a serious knee injury and was released by Sunderland after his £9m move to the Stadium of Light.

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Gordon suffered the injury in a 2-2 draw against Dundee United in the Scottish Premiership

“I’ve played this game long enough to know that I can’t take anything for granted,” said Gordon, whose Hearts contract runs until the summer of 2024.

“When I’ve been ‘written off’ with injuries before, every game is one more than at times, I thought I might get.

“I know what lies ahead as I’ve walked this road before and I’ll do it again, albeit on crutches for now.

“Our medical team did a great job on the pitch. The staff and surgeons at Ninewells Hospital who performed my surgery on Christmas Day, and all those who looked after me were brilliant.

“The club, my team-mates and everyone who has sent messages for my family and I, you have all helped in giving me the best start to my recovery and I’m truly grateful. 40 tomorrow, I’ve not done too bad considering!”

Neilson: Gordon ‘is a warrior’

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - AUGUST 24: Manager Robbie Neilson during a Heart of Midlothian training session  at the Oriam, on August 24, 2022, in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by Mark Scates / SNS Group)
Hearts boss Robbie Neilson believes Gordon will work to return from his double leg break

Hearts boss Robbie Neilson confirmed striker Lawrence Shankland has been appointed Hearts captain in the absence of Gordon but hopes to have the ‘keeper back one day.

“Lawrence is a leader within the group,” said Neilson. “I think there is an opportunity with him to develop further.

“Craig Gordon will remain the club captain but we need an on-field captain, day to day and on the pitch and that will be Lawrence. I spoke to a few of the senior players and he was the main candidate for us.

“I can see him becoming a real good on-pitch captain. He’s got the attributes, he’ll play every week, top goalscorer. He’s got a bit about him as well.

PERTH, SCOTLAND - DECEMBER 28: Hearts' Lawrence Shankland celebrates after scoring a penalty to make it 1-0 during a cinch Premiership match between St. Johnstone and Heart of Midlothian at McDiarmid Park, on December 28, 2022, in Perth, Scotland. (Photo by Paul Devlin / SNS Group)
Lawrence Shankland will captain Hearts for the rest of this season

“I have been speaking to Craig a lot and went to see him on Boxing Day. He is very disappointed at what has happened but is now talking about timelines for coming back.

“I’ve known Craig for a long, long time and he’s a warrior. He’s faced injury adversity before and come back stronger, so I’ve no doubt that he’ll approach this in the same manner.

“For now, it’s about rest and recuperation. There is no pressure on him as he’ll get the best medical care and rehabilitation facilities possible at Hearts.

“I’d also like to thank our medical team and the NHS Scotland staff at Ninewells for giving Craig the best possible care in what was a challenging situation.”

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