Hearts defender Michael Smith has resumed light training and stands a chance of being fit for the Jambos’ William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final with Inverness Caledonian Thistle on April 13, according to reports.
The 30-year-old has been sidelined since early February after sustaining a thigh injury during the 4-0 Scottish Cup win over Auchinleck Talbot.
Hearts boss Craig Levein feared the right-back could be out for up to 12 weeks, but the Northern Ireland international has already undergone at least one light running session with club physio Craig Maitland.
And The Sun reports that, while Hearts won’t rush the former Peterborough full-back’s recovery, Smith should regain fitness in time to play a part in the Hampden cup clash against the Highlanders.
Smith has filled in at left-back, left midfield, defensive midfield, centre-back and right-wingback as well as his favoured right-back since joining Hearts, with his versatility proving crucial at times when the Jambos have had a lengthy injury list.
Youngsters Jamie Brandon and Marcus Godinho have been filling the right-back berth in Smith’s absence while Clevid Dikamona has also operated at full-back on occasion.