LIAM BOYCE is battling to be fit for Hearts’ Scottish Cup clash against Rangers after being struck down with a bout of tonsillitis.
The Northern Ireland internationalist was known to be a doubt for last Friday night’s Premiership fixture against St Mirren before it was postponed due to the inclement weather.
Boyce subsequently sat out Jambos training on Monday as he is nursed back to full health by the Tynecastle doctors.
Hearts are hopeful that the former Ross County ace will make a full recovery in time to face Rangers and, given his incredible impact when the Glasgow giants last visited Gorgie, he will be given every possible opportunity to declare himself available.
Boyce claimed an assist and a dramatic winner on his debut when the Jambos defeated the Gers 2-1 last month. It remains Daniel Stendel’s only league victory as Hearts boss to date.
Meanwhile, Hearts midfielder Toby Sibbick has resumed light training – albeit separate from the rest of his teammates – but remains an outsider to feature this weekend.
Sibbick, a January arrival from Barnsley, has made just two appearances for the capital club and has not featured since a February 1 draw at St Johnstone after contracting glandular fever.
However, the Hearts medical staff will take no chances with Sibbick’s health, given the nature of his absence.
Glandular fever can cause chronic fatigue and knock-on effects to the liver or spleen in athletes if mismanaged.
While a decision will ultimately be made in the next 48 hours, Sibbick will only make the match-day squad if club doctors are satisfied there will be no repercussions whatsoever.