Hearts boss hopeful trio will be fit to face Celtic

David Milinkovic has a knee injury
David Milinkovic has a knee injury
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Hearts hope to welcome back midfielder Joaquim Adao and left-back Demetri Mitchell for Sunday’s match with Celtic, but winger David Milinkovic remains doubtful.

Manager Craig Levein reported today that he must decide over the next 24 hours whether the Frenchman’s knee injury has healed sufficiently for him to return. At the moment he is rated 50/50.

Joaquim Adao

Joaquim Adao

Adao has finally recovered from lingering headaches relating to a head knock sustained last month. He is in contention to resume his defensive midfield berth against the newly-crowned Premiership champions.

Mitchell, absent since February with a torn meniscus, is also fit and pushing for a place in Levein’s team for the lunchtime encounter at Tynecastle Park, which is live on BT Sport.

“Demi is looking okay. Last week was his first week training with us and he was a bit tight and stiff. He trained well so far this week and seems quite bubbly, so I’d expect him to be available,” said Levein.

“I’m hoping Adao is back. He did some light training earlier in the week before getting back into a full session. He was suffering from the head knock but he’s been clear of any symptoms for the last four or five days.

Demetri Mitchell

Demetri Mitchell

“He has passed all the tests that players need to do in this situation. He just had a lingering headache and was struggling a little bit but he has been much livelier in the last couple of days. I’d like to get him back, that would be good news.

“Milinkovic still has this little problem with his medial ligament. He’s been on a strengthening programme. We’d hoped he would make the Aberdeen game but he didn’t. Fingers crossed he makes this weekend. I’m not sure yet if he will. I will have a better idea later today.”