AIDY WHITE is on course to return to full training when Hearts report for pre-season on June 21.
The former Leeds United and Barnsley left-back joined the Jambos in on a two-year deal in March but is yet to make his debut as the Tynecastle medical staff nurse him back to fitness.
White, 27, has not played a competitive fixture since January 2017 due to a persistent and debilitating groin injury.
However, it is understood that Hearts boss Craig Levein was delighted with his progress in the final weeks of last season, with White stepping up his recovery bid with running sessions out on the grass.
The capital club are now hopeful that White will be ready to carry out a full, uninterrupted pre-season and provide a welcome boost for the Jambos in a problem position.
Levein saw Demetri Mitchell and Ben Garuccio succumb to serious injuries and turned to 16-year-old Aaron Hickey to start last month’s Scottish Cup final against Celtic at left-back.
Speaking when White was signed, Levein said: “I’m confident Aidy can fulfil his potential and prove to be a vital cog in the wheel as we look towards the future.”