Steven Naismith poised to return for Hearts
Hearts captain Steven Naismith is due to train with the squad at Riccarton today for the first time since suffering a calf injury at the end of last month.
Coaching staff expect the 34-year-old to join in a first-team session as he looks to return after two weeks out. The final decision will be down to the player himself, who has been receiving treatment from medical staff.
“Hopefully he'll train on Tuesday. He was getting some treatment over the weekend and I'm expecting him to train on Tuesday,” manager Robbie Neilson told the Evening News.
The injury forced Naismith off during the second half of Hearts’ 1-1 draw at Inverness Caledonian Thistle on February 26. He was replaced by Jamie Walker on 62 minutes and hasn’t featured since.
He missed wins over Dundee and Ayr United since then but could make an appearance at Arbroath this weekend, provided he trains without suffering any reaction.
With seven games remaining in their Championship campaign, Hearts are eager to conclude the title race as soon as possible. They lead the table with a 15-point advantage knowing three more victories could be sufficient depending on results for Dunfermline and Raith Rovers over the next two weeks.
“We've got seven games to go and we're expected to win seven games. That's what we need to do,” added Neilson. “If we do that, we get the title. Even if we do get over the line earlier, we will still be expected to win the games. It's just about winning week in and week out.”