St Johnstone hope Jody Morris will be back in action for the start of the new season after undergoing surgery earlier this week.[LNB] The 31-year-old is recovering after a hernia operation on Wednesday but has targeted Saints' Scottish Premier League opener against Hearts for his return.[LNB]The club's official website revealed that the former Chelsea midfielder had been playing through the pain barrier for the latter part of last season.[LNB]And, with close-season rest failing to rectify the problem, both Morris and the club decided that an operation was the best option.[LNB]According to www.perthstjohnstonefc.co.uk: "With the operation successfully completed, hopes are now high that a fully-fit Jody will be ready to take his place when the SPL gets underway, although he will likely be unable to play a full part when pre-season training gets underway with a week-long training camp in Warwick."[LNB]Meanwhile, Saints boss Derek McInnes admits they face a tough start to the new season after the fixture list was published yesterday.[LNB]He said: "Five out of the opening seven games are against sides that finished in the top six last season so it's not exactly an easy start but it is a set of fixtures we will relish.[LNB]"We want to be one of those top six sides so we have to stretch ourselves and take on board things learned last season.[LNB]"The issuing of the fixture list allows us to fine tune our pre-season plans and make arrangements to have our early opponents watched in their pre-season matches.[LNB]"I still want to arrange another friendly match for us the weekend before the SPL starts and the club and I are working hard to make that happen."