Hearts issue injury update on Liam Boyce and Michael Smith ahead of Motherwell match

Liam Boyce and Michael Smith could both return to action with Hearts against Motherwell this weekend.
Michael Smith and Liam Boyce training with Hearts.Michael Smith and Liam Boyce training with Hearts.
Michael Smith and Liam Boyce training with Hearts.

The Northern Irish pair are back training after injury and pushing for inclusion ahead of the trip to Fir Park. Boyce has missed the last three matches with a calf problem, while Smith sat out the most recent fixture against Dundee United because of a back issue.

The striker is not yet back in full training at Riccarton but coaching staff expect him to be fully functional again by the end of the week. Full-back Smith is doing all sessions without any reaction to date.

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“We should have a full squad available for the weekend,” Hearts manager Robbie Neilson told the Edinburgh Evening News.

“Boycie is back training and is doing about half the sessions just now. By the end of the week he should be in full training. Michael is back in full training already so they should be fine.”

Boyce is the Edinburgh club’s top goalscorer with ten goals from 15 games in all competitions this season. Smith is an experienced right-back and normally an automatic starter when fit.

However, after beating United 5-2 without both players prior to the international break, Neilson will face a selection dilemma if they are available this week.

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Winger Josh Ginnelly delivered an impressive performance in the centre-forward role by using his pace and intuition against the Tayside team. Taylor Moore, normally a centre-back, stood out at right wing-back as Smith’s deputy.

“Yes, there will be decisions to make so we will see how the week’s training goes,” admitted Neilson.

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