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Raith’s Kevin McHattie determined to continue playing through the pain barrier

Kevin McHattie returns to squad after injury.
Kevin McHattie returns to squad after injury.

Kevin McHattie insists he will continue to battle through the pain barrier to help Raith secure their Championship survival.

The 23-year-old former Hearts full-back has been suffering from a groin problem that has required constant treatment and restricts his training to just a couple of times a week.

However, with Rovers sitting third bottom of the league, he is determined to play in the vital three league games remaining, starting tonight against Champions Hibs.

McHattie, who grew up supporting Rovers, said: “I’m trying to play through this niggle. It started off worse and got better but now it’s getting a bit worse again.

“It’s not really my groin, it’s my like muscles in that area overcompensating for the groin.

“I need to get that sorted as soon as I can. I’ve been feeling it since the Ayr game.

“It’s sore but I just need to battle through it. I train maybe twice a week. I’m mostly with the physio just doing some rehab on it. It’s not too bad by the time it comes to the games.

“That’s what everyone needs to do, even if you’re feeling a wee niggle on a Saturday.

“You have to do it for the team, the fans and the gaffer and hopefully the rewards will come, we’ll get the three points and we’ll stay in the division.”

While Hibs were losing against Aberdeen at the weekend in the Scottish Cup semi-final at Hampden, the Rovers players were able to rest and recuperate following the previous Saturday’s win over Morton at Stark’s Park.

They are now all raring to go at Easter Road and even although Hibs have yet to beat Rovers yet this season McHattie is realistic enough to know that securing a point in Edinburgh would be a great result.

He added: “I think it is a good time to get them. It’s their first game at home since they won the league so they’ll probably put a strong team out.

“We’re looking forward to it. It’s a great game to play in. We’ve had a chance to rest a few boys but we’ve had a good week’s training.

“We’re eighth with a game in hand. Hopefully we can even get a point against Hibs. They haven’t beaten us this season so I’d happily take a point there.

“I think Hibs will still play a strong team so we’ve got to prepare to play a very good side that have just won the league. I think it’ll be a hard game.

“However, we’ve given them three hard games and they’ve not beaten us, it will be a tough game for them as well.

“I think we played well against Morton so we need to take the confidence from that into this.

“It’s not a good pressure being at the bottom, but you need to battle through it.”

While there is still a lot to play for this season, McHattie, who is out of contract with Raith in the summer, is already starting to look ahead to what the future holds for him.

He said: “I’m out of contract, I don’t know what’s happening. It’s been more about the injury, trying to get that sorted.

“Hopefully we can get ourselves safe then I’ll probably be going for an operation, talks should happen between myself and the club.

“I would be happy to stay here, even just another year in the Championship. If we stay up, I’ll speak to my agent and see what he’s saying.”

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