Danny Wilson back for Hearts’ Belfast test

Gary Locke. Picture: Getty
Gary Locke. Picture: Getty
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BOSS Gary Locke today revealed that captain Danny Wilson will make a timely return to the Hearts team in Belfast this week as he continues to build towards the start of the SPFL season.

The defender has been ruled out with injury since signing a new permanent deal with the Tynecastle side last month.

Hearts are currently under a registration embargo after 
failing to pay some of their players on time, but were able to do a deal for Wilson because the former Liverpool stopper had already been registered with them as a loan player last 
season.

However, Wilson has yet to feature for the Jambos since signing a new contract after suffering a four-centimetre tear to his thigh muscle. He has been back in full training for over a week now, having previously worked alongside the club physio and fellow injury victim Callum Paterson in a bid to get his fitness levels back up.

Wilson took part in the warm-up ahead of the game against Queen of the South at the weekend and Locke is expecting to use him in the games against Crusaders and a Liverpool select in the Northern Ireland tournament later this week.

The Hearts boss said: “It’s good to have Danny back again. Everything going well. He will play in Belfast on Thursday night, which is great news.

“He and Callum Paterson have been working hard and it is good to have them back. We are a young side and, although these two are just youngsters themselves, they have a bit more experience than some in the first team. They are going to be valuable players for us.”

Paterson came on with just over ten minutes remaining against Queens, his first appearance since January 19 after suffering a freak foot injury in a training session.

Locke is keen to see the player, who proved his versatility last season playing in defence and in a striker’s role, back to full match fitness.

“It was great to see Callum back in the side,” Locke admitted. “He got a good ten or 15 minutes and it is good that he is back in the picture for us. He had a bad injury and we just need to get him some games on the park now.”

Meanwhile Locke insisted that his side will not accept “ridiculous” bids for their players despite their current financial plight. Nottingham Forest have tabled another offer for Jason Holt, believed to be around £150,000, and Locke is in no doubt that is nowhere near Hearts’ valuation of the player.

He continued: “We are

fortunate that, with the way the supporters have rallied round us, we don’t have to accept

ridiculous bids for our players.

“The bid we have had from Nottingham Forest is nowhere near our valuation for Jason Holt so, unless they come up with a realistic offer, Jason will be a Hearts player.

“They are well short. Jason is one of the hottest prospects in Scottish football, so we are

certainly not going to let him go on the cheap.

“Bryan (Jackson) and Trevor (Birch) have both said that the fans have raised enough money and no other player has to go, which I am delighted about

because the squad is already

paper thin so I certainly wouldn’t want to lose a player of his talent.”