Arnaud Djoum and Prince Buaben are in contention to return from injury for Hearts if Sunday’s Premiership match with Partick Thistle goes ahead.
Winger Jamie Walker is likely to remain sidelined for another week with a strained hamstring, but Djoum has recovered from a knee problem and Buaben is over his own hamstring injury.
Having missed six and four weeks respectively, their experience is a welcome addition for the Hearts manager Craig Levein.
Like everyone connected with both clubs, he is still waiting to learn if the new main stand at Tynecastle Park will be ready for the Partick game to take place.
If so, he is excited at the prospect of adding some much-needed seniority to his threadbare midfield.
“Arnaud and Prince are coming along really nicely and are back in full training this week. They have done quite a lot,” Levein told the Evening News.
He added that Walker is unlikely to be fit in time for this weekend after straining his hamstring against Rangers less than three weeks ago.
“Jamie is progressing well, although I don’t know if he will make the Partick game. If he doesn’t make it for Partick, he should certainly be available for the following week. We’re starting to get senior players back into the group, which helps everybody.”
Don Cowie played his first match in almost a month when Hearts lost 2-1 to Kilmarnock in their last game before the international break.
The 34-year-old returned in midfield and brought the kind of experience Levein has been crying out for in recent weeks. Djoum and Buaben joining him further strengthens an area where Hearts have looked rather meek of late.
As revealed in yesterday’s Evening News, the veteran Northern Ireland defender Aaron Hughes is set to partner Christophe Berra in central defence with John Souttar sidelined by concussion.
Levein will continue preparing his squad as normal until news on the main stand arrives.