HEARTS forward Steven Naismith says that he did not consider a return to former club Kilmarnock due to concerns over the artificial surface at Rugby Park.

The 31-year-old departed Norwich City last month to sign a six-month loan deal with the Jambos, but Killie were also interested in securing the services of the Scotland internationalist.

However, Naismith told the BBC that playing and training on an artificial pitch put him off a return to his first club because of the risk of injury.

Read more: January return to Rangers was never on the cards, says Hearts forward Steven Naismith

"The biggest thing was the AstroTurf, for a player of my age, with the injuries I have had," he said.

"As much as I appreciate Kilmarnock for what they did for me when I was younger, that is something I would never consider.

"I have spoken to Steve Clarke on and off over the years at certain times in my career. He has said, tongue in cheek, 'I would love to get you back' and things like that.

"But I never seriously considered it, solely because of the AstroTurf. For me, every club in Scottish football should play on grass.

"I couldn't train on AstroTurf every day. My second game for Hearts was at Hamilton [who have an artificial pitch].

"For a couple of days afterwards, it is not great for your body, especially as you get older. Youngsters might be used to it, but you can't tell me for the long term it is good for you."