Latest Hearts injury news on James Hill and Michael Smith ahead of Rangers game

Hearts are confident defenders James Hill and Michael Smith will return from injury when Rangers visit Tynecastle Park on Wednesday night.
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Manager Robbie Neilson told the Evening News that both players missed Sunday’s goalless draw at Livingston as a result of issues sustained in last week’s win against Hibs. Hill was substituted on 81 minutes with concussion and Smith followed him into the dugout five minutes later after twisting his ankle.

Hearts are now preparing to host Rangers and are hopeful of having two of their first-choice defenders in the squad. Midfielder Cammy Devlin’s tight hamstring is still being assessed. Some players who started on the bench at Livingston will be reinstated to the starting line-up.

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“We should have Michael back and James back,” said Neilson. “Michael twisted his ankle and James had his concussion protocols so hopefully they should be fine. Robert Snodgrass, Barrie McKay, Josh Ginnelly – all the ones who missed out on the starting line-up on Sunday will be available for Wednesday.”

The draw in West Lothian extended Hearts’ current unbeaten run to ten matches. They are aiming to finish third in the cinch Premiership to achieve a second successive year of European football. Whilst disappointed that two good scoring chances were not converted against Livingston, Neilson was not overly despondent.

He expects the teams will meet again after the split. “Livingston is a difficult place to come at the best of times,” he said. “We’ve been there twice this season so, if Livingston make the top six and I think they will, at least we will be at home on grass for the next one. It was a stuffy game, a tight game, not much quality from both teams.”