ROBBIE NEILSON today welcomed Callum Paterson’s return from injury, the Hearts head coach insisting it brings a major boost to his side’s hopes of finishing second in the Ladbrokes Premiership.
After six weeks out with a torn shoulder ligament, the right-back is poised for a comeback against Inverness Caledonian Thistle tonight.
Neilson is eager to have him available for the final five matches of the season, during which Hearts will attempt to overhaul second-placed Aberdeen in the league. They will reduce the gap between themselves and the Pittodrie club to six points with victory in the Highlands this evening.
Experienced midfielder Don Cowie won’t be risked due to a calf injury but Paterson is expected to play.
“Callum is fine and he’s travelled up with us. Hopefully he’ll be involved. It’s great to have him back. He’s one of the key players for us this season so to get him back fit is a huge benefit for us,” said Neilson.
“Don won’t make it tonight, he still has a little problem with his calf. He’s trained but we aren’t going to risk him. We’ll just leave him till after the split.”
It remains to be seen whether Neilson starts Paterson or eases him back more gently by giving him game time as a substitute.
The 21-year-old sustained his injury at the end of February, which denied him a call-up to the full Scotland squad last month.
However, he is now fully recovered and ready to play his part in the last few games of the campaign.