Hearts handed injury boost ahead of Rangers showdown

Hearts handed injury boost ahead of Rangers showdown
Hearts handed injury boost ahead of Rangers showdown

Hearts are hoping that Lewis Neilson will be fit for this Saturday’s clash with Rangers after insisting that the defender withdrew from the Scotland Under-21 squad as a precaution.

Neilson limped off in the first half of last Thursday’s 3-1 friendly win over Northern Ireland and then returned to his club for further treatment before Scot Gemmill’s side drew 1-1 with the same opposition in Paisley on Sunday.

The sight of the 19-year-old going off injured was of concern to the Gorgie club, with Craig Halkett and Kye Rowles already sidelined with hamstring and foot issues respectively.

Neilson replaced Halkett in the first of the recent Europa Conference League 2-1 win in Latvia against Riga FS and started the 3-0 victory over Motherwell before the international break.

The former Dundee United player would have been in line to start in the weekend’s televised visit of Rangers and Hearts are keeping his fingers crossed that he can shake off the problem in time.

A Hearts spokesperson said: “It was a bittersweet moment for Lewis, who won his first Scotland under-21 cap against Northern Ireland in a friendly last week, but was forced off with injury.

“The good news for Hearts fans is it was just a precaution, and it’s hoped he’ll be back training with the first team this week.”