Osman Sow will play for the first time in more than 12 weeks when Hearts Under-20s face Hibs tomorrow night.
The Swedish striker has recovered from a torn thigh muscle and is scheduled for around 30 minutes of action in the 7.15pm kick-off at Ainslie Park. Hearts are eager to have Sow back for the title run in to pair him with recent loan signing Genero Zeefuik. Head coach Robbie Neilson intends to involve both in Saturday’s league match with Falkirk, provided Sow comes through the under-20 Edinburgh derby without any adverse reaction. He has not featured since the first-team’s 1-1 draw with Hibs in late October.
“He’ll be involved in the under-20s game so he’ll get a run out in that, maybe for half an hour or so,” Neilson told the Evening News. “It will help him to get a bit of game time with a view to having him involved on Saturday against Falkirk. Zeefuik will have another week’s training and it will be interesting to see how he does with big Os up front. I’m pleased to have the two of them.
“James Keatings has been doing well and Dale Carrick will be training with us this week as well. Soufian El Hassnaoui will be the following week, so we’re getting plenty of options back in attack.”
Kevin McHattie’s recovery from knee ligament damage is taking slightly longer. He should be back in full training at some point next week.
“Kev has been doing light stuff. Next week will take him to eight weeks out and that’s the recovery period we were looking at,” confirmed Neilson.
“He won’t manage to train this week because his injury is just taking a wee bit longer. When you start turning at pace, that’s when you know where you are with an injury like that. We were hoping six to eight weeks but it’s going to be eight or nine now.”
English defender Jake Hutchings will continue his trial at Riccarton this week, with Hearts due to make a decision on him after assessing him in a bounce match. The 19-year-old centre-back was released by Torquay United and has trained with Jack Ross’ Under-20 squad.
“He’s coming back up to train with us this week,” said Neilson. “He went back down the road on Friday but he’ll come back tomorrow and we’ll try to get a bounce game organised for him to play in. Then we can have a look at him and make a decision later this week.”
Meanwhile, Rangers have confirmed that all tickets for Friday night’s abandoned match at Ibrox will remain valid for the rearranged fixture. A date has yet to be decided.
• Hearts teenager Robbie Buchanan has joined Cowdenbeath on loan until the end of the season.