Hamilton boss Brian Rice says he is just as happy as Hibernian to see Scott Allan back after revealing his own heart scare.
Easter Road ace Allan has gone public to disclose the mystery illness which kept him out of action for five months earlier this season.
The 29-year-old has been diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a condition which thickens the walls of the heart chamber, making it harder for the organ to pump blood in and out of the heart.
However, Allan – who is also diabetic – has now been given the all-clear by doctors to resume playing duties after tightening up his hydration routine and diet and could take on Accies when Rice’s team head to Leith on Saturday.
But Rice has no fears about facing the talented former Dundee United and Celtic playmaker as he instead offered his warmest wishes to Allan.
The Hamilton boss went through his own health ordeal back in 2002. He was part of the Airdrie coaching team when he collapsed at St Mirren’s Love Street ground during a match and had to be rushed to hospital.
Rice went on to make a full recovery but knows exactly how Allan must have felt over these distressing past few months.
He said: “I’m absolutely delighted to see Scott Allan is back involved in the Hibs squad.
“He’s had a horrendous time, the lad, but I’m absolutely delighted for him that he now seems to be getting his career back on track.
“I read his story this morning and it’s absolutely fantastic.
“Reading something like that definitely makes the trivialities of football fade away into the background when you consider what is really important in life.
“The boy is a fantastic talent, a lovely lad but to have those troubles at such a young age with a young family was a real worry.
“Now, though, to see him back involved gives everyone a boost.
“It will definitely give Hibs a boost and even me personally, I’m delighted to see him back.”
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy played a part in the deaths of former Celtic and Motherwell star Phil O’Donnell and Cameroon ace Marc-Vivien Foe, while it was also caused Bolton’s Fabrice Muamba to collapse on the pitch in a game against Spurs in 2012.
But Rice is confident screening tests now carried out routinely by the Scottish Football Association will mean fewer and fewer cases will slip through the net.
“All the heart screening is done through the SFA these days,” he said. “I know from personal experience how important that is. I took unwell at a game many, many years ago.
“I had a heart problem and had to get a stent put in. I was working for Airdrieonians, I was at a match at St Mirren and didn’t feel well. The next thing I knew I woke up and was in the hospital in Paisley.
“That was a real shock to the system. That was in 2002, so nearly 20 years ago. But I am just grateful that’s all it was.
“People assume footballers are fit and strong but it just shows these things can still strike you down. Quite a lot of these things are hereditary.
“But we’ve come so far and we’re all working to make sure players’ health issues are taken care of. The union and the SFA are there to help with all these screenings and health checks so everyone is well looked after.
“Football does everything it can, I believe, to make sure everyone is fit and healthy.”