Hearts boss gets double boost ahead of Inverness trip

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Hearts manager Paulo Sergio will have Ryan Stevenson and Danny Grainger available for Saturday’s trip to Inverness Caledonian Thistle after declaring the pair fully fit.

Stevenson suffered a foot injury in the Edinburgh derby two weeks ago and, alongside Grainger, used the international break last weekend to return to full fitness.

Sergio said: “The break was good for some players to recover from their efforts over the past few weeks. Stevenson and Grainger were just two of those. I was glad of the break. It gave us a chance to solidify our methods and processes with the players. It was the players’ first day off since I arrived as well, so it was a good weekend.”

Eggert Jonsson and Marian Kello, returning from international duty, are expected to be available for the clash, as are Lithuanian pair Marius Zaliukas and Arvydas Novikovas.

Ian Black is again in contention for a place in the Jambos’ midfield in the Highlands after returning to star against Hibs a fortnight ago following a red card against Motherwell. According to former team-mate Dennis Wyness, Black will relish facing former club Inverness this weekend.

“He’s obviously got a bit of a reputation,” said Wyness of Black’s image as a combative footballer. “I think he’s a strong character and doesn’t let anything faze him. He’s quite a confident boy, and once the game starts he’ll treat it just like any other game of football.”

Meanwhile, the agent of Billy Mehmet says the former Dunfermline and St Mirren striker is expected to sign for Australian club Perth Glory after a move to Hearts collapsed last month. Mehmet’s negotiations with the Tynecastle club broke down after Jim Jefferies was sacked, said the 27-year-old’s agent, Uben Gray. Mehmet said: “I had options back home but as I proved when I moved to Turkey [from St Mirren to Genclerbirligi], I am not frightened to look elsewhere.”