BY DARREN JOHNSTONE @CCP_Sport
Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson has been handed a double injury boost with the news that Sam Nicholson and Juwon Oshaniwa are both in contention to face Dundee this weekend.
Winger Nicholson pulled out of the Scotland Under-21 squad ahead of last Friday’s clash with Ukraine due to a minor knee knock.
Oshaniwa was absent from Hearts’ last league outing against Hamilton on November 7 owing to a shin problem that has troubled the Nigerian international left back since last month’s win over Dundee United.
With the squad given a day off yesterday, the pair are expected to train today when the players start preparing for the Saturday’s visit of Paul Hartley’s side.
Neilson, who was relieved that Jordan McGhee, Callum Paterson, Billy King and Jack Hamilton all came through the Under-21s’ 2-2 draw with Ukraine unscathed, said: “The boys that were away with the Scotland Under-21s are all back and fine.
“Sam pulled out but he will be fine for Saturday. It was more of a precaution with his knee that he pulled out but he’s okay.
“I expect Juwon to train as well. He had a problem with his shin but he’s fine now and looking good.”
Neilson, however, admits Jamie Walker is set to sit out his third successive match at the weekend as the influential winger prepares to complete his treatment programme for a long-standing knee complaint.
Soufian El Hassnaoui, who suffered a groin problem in his comeback from knee surgery, and captain Alim Ozturk, who underwent groin surgery, also remained sidelined.
Neilson added: “We’re hopeful of getting Jamie back fairly soon but I don’t expect him to be ready for Saturday.
“His last treatment will be on Wednesday and then after that we’ll hopefully get him back as soon as we can.
“It’s an electro treatment thing that you can do for the problem he has, it’s pretty standard. We’re hoping that will clean up something.
“Soufian is not ready to join in yet but Alim is coming back at the end of the week as well so he’ll be another couple of weeks away, but he’s in decent condition.”