Double fitness boost for Hearts as they battle Hibs for Raith Rovers defender

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BY IAIN COLLIN – @CCP_sport

Hearts have been handed a double boost after it emerged that both Callum Paterson and Prince Buaben are expected to be declared fit for the visit of Kilmarnock this weekend.

Paterson missed Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to bottom side Dundee United with a hamstring complaint that surfaced in the wake of last week’s Scottish Cup replay defeat to city rivals Hearts.

(Pic: HeartsTV)
(Pic: HeartsTV)

Buaben returned for the Gorgie side at the weekend after a two-week lay-off with a muscle injury sustained in the 2-2 draw with Hibs at Tynecastle.

After twice requiring treatment at Tannadice, however, the former United midfielder eventually had to make way for Arnaud Djoum with 15 minutes remaining against his old club.

But both have since been deemed fit enough to train and it is understood head coach Robbbie Neilson is planning for the duo being available against Killie.

Meanwhile, Hearts are battling it out with capital foes Hibernian for the signature of Raith Rovers youngster Sean Mackie.

The 17-year-old is hugely regarded at Stark’s Park and has attracted the interest of both Edinburgh clubs in recent weeks.

A left-back who is accomplished both defensively and in attack, Mackie has been offered a deal by Hibs, who have met Rovers’ five-figure asking price, whilst Hearts are also keen to land the teenager after a trial spell.

Mackie has played just a minute for the Rovers first-team but is currently weighing up his future after Hibs and Hearts stole a march on an English League One club.

Rovers chief executive Eric Drysdale said: “Both Hibs and Hearts are interested in obtaining the services of Sean and it is important we give the player time and space to make up his mind.

“It is a very important decision for a youngster to make about his life and hopefully it is one that will lead to him having a bright future in the game.”

@IainCollin

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