Timely fitness boost for Ian Cathro as key duo Jamie Walker and Aaron Hughes return to fold

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BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport

HEARTS have been handed a timely fitness boost after key duo Jamie Walker and Aaron Hughes returned to full training.

The pair were absent for Saturday’s 1-0 defeat against Ross County, with Walker nursing a head knock and Hughes unable to shake off a calf strain.

However, both players took part in a session at the Jambos’ Riccarton training base on Tuesday and are expected to be in contention to face Hamilton this weekend.

Head coach Ian Cathro will be hoping their recovery is the shot in the arm his side need as they seek to salvage their European dream.

Their reverse against against County was their third defeat in succession, while Cathro has only overseen four victories from his 15 matches in charge. Fans made their displeasure known at full-time against the Highlanders, jeering the players from the field.

Walker and Hughes, however, have been silver linings in recent weeks and were sorely missed in their last Premiership outing.

The Scottish playmaker has notched 14 goals this term – half of those coming since the arrival of the new boss – while the Northern Irish veteran has arguably been the most consistent of Cathro’s nine signings, providing a calming influence in the heart of defence.

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