Hearts' injuries clearing as John Souttar, Steven Naismith and Jamie Walker near a return
Experienced trio could be back after the winter break
Hearts hope to have three more players back from injury after the winter break as John Souttar, Steven Naismith and Jamie Walker all near a return.
After welcoming striker Conor Washington and defender Ben Garuccio back against Aberdeen on Sunday, manager Daniel Stendel could have extra experience available soon.
Souttar, Naismith and Walker are all pushing to be fit for the Scottish Cup fourth round tie against Airdrieonians at Tynecastle Park on Saturday, January 18.
Souttar has resumed training with the squad after major ankle surgery and is eager to return to the field having been sidelined since August 4. The Scotland international centre-back will continue fitness work during the three-week winter shutdown with the intention of making a comeback against Airdrie.
Naismith's injury is back-related, although he was close to being available to face Aberdeen. He now has time to continue strengthening work with the hope of playing a key role for Hearts during the second half of the season.
Walker's knee problem means he has been working indoors of late but the forward is making progress. He will benefit from three weeks to continue recovering and his condition will be assessed in the build-up to the Airdrie match.
No definitive return date has yet been set for the Austrian midfielder Peter Haring, who underwent adductor release surgery in November to help cure an ongoing pelvic problem. He has not played for Hearts since the Scottish Cup final last May and will be assessed again towards the end of the winter shutdown.
Winger Callumn Morrison has been back outside doing fitness work but has not yet joined in training with the first-team squad at Riccarton. He has been sidelined since October.