Hearts midfielder Jason Holt should resume full training later this week after three months out with a broken foot.
He is expected to take the final step in his rehabilitation process by rejoining the squad and could manage a first-team appearance before the end of the month.
Holt broke his metatarsal bone during a training session last November and underwent surgery. He was initially expected to miss two months, but the recovery has been slightly longer than anticipated. Now, the 20-year-old is almost ready to join in first-team training at Riccarton, which should happen before the weekend.
He has endured weeks of physiotherapy and running to strengthen muscles and, provided he suffers no setbacks, could be back in a Hearts shirt by the end of the month.
“Holty still hasn’t trained with the group. He’s been doing a lot of work with the physio,” explained manager Gary Locke today. “I’m hopeful he’ll join in with the rest of the boys at some point this week and train with them. Saturday’s match against Inverness will be too soon for him, but at least we can look to get him back on the training pitch.” Jamie Walker, who suffered the same injury as Holt four weeks ago in a match against Motherwell at Tynecastle, remains some way off a first-team return.
Locke was not keen to put a timescale on his recovery for now.
“Jamie is improving, but he’s still got a long way to go,” he continued. “Jason had the same injury and he’s been out since November and still isn’t back training with the first team, so Jamie is still quite a long way away.
“Everybody recovers differently from these operations, but, if he’s got a similar timescale of recovery to Holty, then we aren’t going to see him for the foreseeable future.”