Raith Rovers manager Gary Locke hoping to extend Hearts defender Liam Smith’s loan deal

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Raith Rovers manager Gary Locke admits he is hoping to persuade Hearts to extend Liam Smith’s loan deal as the defender bids to return from injury this weekend.

The Scotland Under-21 internationalist’s initial month-long agreement is due to expire at the end of October.

Smith has missed Rovers’ last two matches due to a hamstring strain but Locke is keeping his fingers crossed that the highly-rated 20-year-old will be back in contention for Saturday’s visit of Queen of the South.

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Smith (left) with Jordan McGhee

Locke does not have his injury problems to seek with right-back Jason Thomson currently sidelined having undergone knee surgery.

Locke said: “It would be great if we could extend his deal. He’s a Hearts player and they’ll make the decision. Callum Paterson is playing there at at the minute and they’ve got another couple that could fill in.

“The main reason for him coming here was to play games.

“Unfortunately he picked up an injury but if Hearts see fit for him to go out and play games, then hopefully we can get him again.

“He has a hamstring problem and I’m hopeful he will be okay for the weekend.

“He has been getting intensive treatment at Hearts and our physio has been in constant dialogue with the physio at Hearts.”

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