Don Cowie doubtful for Hearts’ trip to Rangers

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Don Cowie has emerged as an injury doubt for Hearts ahead of Saturday’s league visit to Ibrox.

The midfielder hasn’t trained so far this week due to a hamstring problem which forced his substitution at Kilmarnock last Saturday. Coaching staff are hopeful he will return to training at Riccarton later this week and prove his fitness ahead of the key meeting with Rangers. Teenage winger Lewis Moore is also nursing a hamstring complaint and is similarly doubtful.

“Don came off with a tight hamstring towards the end of the game at the weekend and Lewis still hasn’t trained yet. We’re hopeful they’ll both be training towards the end of the week, but with hamstrings you just never know,” admitted Jon Daly, Hearts’ interim head coach.

“The plan is for them to train over the next couple of days and then be involved at the weekend. Unfortunately, you can never tell how quickly hamstrings will loosen off, but we’re hopeful.”

The experience of 34-year-old Cowie could be vital if Hearts are to garner a result in Glasgow. “Don has great experience and energy levels. He’s been an important player since he came to Hearts so he’s one that we’re really keen to get fit so that he’s available,” said Daly.

Club medical staff are also monitoring injuries to defenders Jordan McGhee and Ashley Smith-Brown. Both players have missed the opening two Ladbrokes Premiership matches against Celtic and Kilmarnock with sprained ankles.

“Jordan and Ash are both out with ankle sprains. I think they’re just minor injuries so, again, we’re hopeful that they will be back training in the next few days,” explained Daly.

“We’ll monitor their fitness and see what is the best way to deal with them. Potentially, they might be available for the weekend but we’ll just have to wait and see.”