Hearts boosted as Craig Halkett's Scottish Cup final timeline is revealed after specialist consultation

Craig Halkett is working towards a return to training with Hearts in the second week of May as he targets a Scottish Cup final place.
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The defender’s ankle injury was assessed by a specialist last week and he has been placed in a protective boot for safety. He is due to resume training two weeks before the cup final against Rangers on May 21.

Hearts’ plan is for him to be involved in the final league game of the season against the Ibrox side on May 14. Provided he then suffers no reaction, he would be in contention for a place at Hampden Park the following week.

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“The aim is to get him back for the Scottish Cup final,” explained Robbie Neilson, the Hearts manager. “He will train the two weeks before and might be ready for the Rangers league game. We’ll see.”

Other injured players Andy Halliday, Stephen Kingsley, Michael Smith and John Souttar should return before then.

Hearts began their post-split Premiership fixtures with a 3-2 win at Dundee United thanks to goals from Liam Boyce, Josh Ginnelly and substitute Ellis SImms.

“We have come to the team sitting fourth in the league and won even though we have seven of eight injuries,” said Neilson. “To be honest, Ben Woodburn was the only one of the subs who was properly fit.

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“Simms has been carrying a knock so we knew we’d only get 20 minutes or so out of him. Cammy Devlin isn’t ready to play but we put him on the bench anyway and we also had a couple of young kids.

Hearts defender Craig Halkett on crutches at Hampden.Hearts defender Craig Halkett on crutches at Hampden.
Hearts defender Craig Halkett on crutches at Hampden.

“So we are down to the bare bones but the bones are strong. The players are doing well, the guys who are coming in have been outstanding. We made four changes and then Aaron McEneff goes off injured early on as well. The quality of player who is coming in is very good and you can see that.

“Josh Ginnelly came in and I was delighted with him, then Ben Woodburn comes on in a position he’s not used to. Taylor Moore has come in, he’s not played much but came in and looked comfortable. It’s important to have that. We are in a decent place right now.”