JAMIE WALKER could return from injury when Hearts face Dundee next weekend if his knee responds to treatment.
The winger is being managed by Riccarton medical staff after missing the Edinburgh club’s last two matches. The hope is he will be fit after the international break.
Hearts decided to rest Walker for recent games against Partick Thistle and Hamilton in order to let his troublesome knee recover. He has been forced to play a bit-part role of late because of pain in the area, which may stem from a problem when he was younger. The player suffered from Osgood-Schlatter disease – relatively common painful inflammation just below the knee – as a child and medical experts believe his problems may be linked to that. He is now following a treatment plan, which Hearts hope will cure the pain and enable him to return against Dundee at Tynecastle on Saturday week.
“Jamie is getting some treatment on his knee just now but that will finish up at the end of next week. I’m hopeful we’ll get him back for the Dundee game,” said head coach Robbie Neilson. “He’s progressing well. It’s just a case of rest and letting it respond to the treatment. We’ve got a plan so we’re hoping he’ll be back fairly soon.
“This is a crucial time of the season coming up and we’ve got a lot of games ahead of us during the winter period. Juanma is out [suspended for the Dundee match], Arnaud Djoum has a niggle and so does Sam Nicholson, so it’s important we get as many players back as possible.
“With the type of injury Jamie has, I don’t want to rush it. I want to make sure it’s right. He’s had this wee problem in his knee and we think it’s because he had Osgood-Schlatter disease when he was a kid. He still gets a wee bit of trouble in that knee now and again so we just need to let it settle down.”