DAVID TEMPLETON is in contention to start Hearts’ match against Dundee United at Tannadice on Saturday as he seeks to improve his fitness during the final four SPL games of the season.
The winger returned from a troublesome groin injury as a substitute against Rangers last weekend, earning Hearts a second-half penalty after being tripped by Sone Aluko.
He is now eager to start against United to help his club pursue European qualification.
Templeton, 23, missed two months of football with the groin complaint and is determined to regain full match sharpness before the Scottish Cup final with Hibs on May 19.
Along with team-mates Mehdi Taouil, Suso Santana and Arvydas Novikovas, he took part in a bounce match at Riccarton on Tuesday to put himself in contention for a place against United.
“One or two of them had a run in a practice game – the likes of Mehdi Taouil, Temps, Suso and Arvydas,” explained Gary Locke, the Hearts first-team coach.
“They will all be champing at the bit to get a game and hopefully if they get a game they can do well.”
Meanwhile, Jamie Hamill is due to undergo an operation on his ruptured cruciate ligament as soon as swelling around the injury reduces.
“He should get his op this week,” Locke told the Hearts website. “They are waiting because he’s got a wee bit of swelling in the knee.
“He’s trying to reduce it at the moment. If it is okay then they’ll operate. If there’s still a bit of swelling then he’ll have to wait.”