Hearts playmaker Jamie Walker is set to begin his bid to be fit for the mouth-watering Scottish Cup tie against rivals Hibs with a run out in tonight’s Under-20s clash with Motherwell.
Walker – described by head coach Robbie Neilson as the club’s most technically-gifted player – has not featured since October’s League Cup defeat to Celtic and has been restricted to only eight starts all season due to a troublesome knee injury.
After a course of shockwave treatment failed to cure the problem, the 22-year-old was then forced to undergo an operation last month.
Walker rejoined his team-mates on the training pitch last week and Neilson is planning to give the attacking-midfielder much-need game time in this evening’s Under-20s match at Ochilview.
Should Walker come through the match unscathed, he is likely to return to the squad for Saturday’s trip to Inverness and will be available for the crunch Februrary 7 visit of Hibs.
Neilson said: “Jamie took part in full training for the whole of last week, so that was good.
“There’s a 20s game on Monday and we’ll try and get him a bit of game time.
“He’ll be available for the Inverness game.”
Hearts, meanwhile, have announced that approximately all 13,000 home tickets have been snapped up for televised cup tie against Hibs.
A club spokesperson said: “Yet another incredible response from the club’s support has seen the match sell out.
“We understand that this will leave many fans disappointed but in practical terms, the demand has quite simply outstripped our supply.
“We thank everyone for their continued amazing support.”
Hearts have also confirmed that their rescheduled clash with Ross County will now take place in Dingwall on Wednesday, February 10.