Craig Gordon insists Hearts and Scotland team-mate John Souttar deserves respect for earning a move to Rangers.
The 25-year-old Jambos defender, who has battled back from three serious Achilles injuries among other setbacks, has signed a pre-contract deal to join the Ibrox club in the summer.
Gordon, 39, knows what it takes to overcome serious injuries after missing two years of his career through knee problems before a stunningly successful period at Celtic.
The Jambos goalkeeper said: “John has been absolutely fantastic since he came back from his injury and I don’t think there is anybody in this squad who worked as hard as he has to get back from that.
“You have to respect how well he has done in such a short space of time from looking like he might never play football again to being one of our best players and subject of a move.
“From that point of view it is a fantastic achievement for him, for our medical staff, our sports science, to get him back from those injuries.
“As team-mates, we know he has given absolutely 100 per cent every single day.
“It is a very special achievement to come back from the injuries has had. It is hard, it doesn’t happen very often.
“He will be a miss but that’s football and it is not the first time it has ever happened.
“We will get on with it and the club will still be here after any player, manager, owner.
“I understand that the fans won’t be happy. I’m disappointed. I would love to see him stay for another few years but these things happen, that’s his decision.
“But the only way he got himself into the position to make that decision was performing really well with Hearts and we have to remember he has really turned it around.”
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