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Levein hopeful Berra comeback revitalises Hearts' campaign

The Jam Tarts skipper is to make his comeback this Sunday against Rangers.

Return: Christophe Berra is ready for Hearts' match against Rangers.
Return: Christophe Berra is ready for Hearts' match against Rangers. SNS

Hearts boss Craig Levein has confirmed captain Christophe Berra is ready to make his comeback this Sunday against Rangers.

The Scotland centre-half has been sidelined since August with a torn hamstring but came through a bounce match against Linlithgow Rose unscathed and is now ready to make his back in contention.

Levein hopes Berra's presence on the team sheet again can spark his side into life and halt their slide after three straight defeats in the Premiership.

He said: "Christophe is such an important player for us, we've missed him in the time he's been out.

"I wouldn't like to prolong that injury by playing him when he's not ready.

"But he felt good after the game, he didn't exert himself an awful lot.

"If he's feeling good, I'll throw him in."

Asked how much of a boost Berra's return was, Levein added: "Just his presence in the team and on the team sheet, even.

"The fact we see him back and then I'm hoping to get Naisy in a couple of weeks should boost our players' confidence and fire a warning shot across the bow of the opposition."

Hearts have failed to score in six whilst a host of key performers have been sidelined.

Levein admitted the loss of his "three captains" - Berra, Steven Naismith and John Souttar - had impacted his team more than he'd have hoped.

He continued: "There aren't that many players around these days that you'd actually call leaders.

"If you have a couple in your team you're doing well so to lose what I consider as three captains has had an influence.

"It's probably had more of an influence than I'd have liked, our recent form has been disappointing.

"Hopefully the return of some of our important players will see a resurgence in our form."

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