Neil Alexander and Callum Paterson back in Hearts’ reckoning

Callum Paterson has resumed training. Neil Alexander, below

Callum Paterson has resumed training. Neil Alexander, below

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Callum Paterson and Neil Alexander are both in contention to return from injury in Hearts’ next match at Dumbarton a week on Saturday.

Teenage full-back Paterson has resumed full training after knee surgery and goalkeeper Alexander will rejoin sessions at Riccarton this weekend having recovered from a fractured cheekbone.

Head coach Robbie Neilson and the Hearts medical staff will assess both players ahead of the trip to the Bet Butler Stadium. Alexander is more likely to play given the nature of his injury. Paterson, if necessary, will be given more time and will not be rushed back into action after five weeks out injured.

In a further boost, striker Dale Carrick will also be back in training this week after a thigh problem. “Carrick will train this week,” explained Neilson. “Paterson is back in full training now. It’s four weeks since his operation. Everything has settled down and he’s happy so we just need to continue monitoring him. He will train over the next two weeks and then we’ll see where he is.

“Neil will be back training with us on Saturday. He’s away doing his B Licence right now and is doing a bit of training on that course but it will be great to have him back. I think Jack Hamilton has done really well for us since he’s been in goals. His shot-stopping is good and he’s commanding. He’s come on leaps and bounds.”

Scott Gallacher, Hearts’ second-choice goalkeeper, remains out with an ankle injury for the moment. “Scott will probably be back in another two or three weeks,” added Neilson.