The winger pulled up sharply during the Gorgie side’s 3-1 defeat by Rangers at the weekend, hobbling off in the 52nd minute. With fears that he had torn the muscle, the club were bracing themselves for the news that the 24-year-old could be sidelined for up to 12 weeks.
And with Walker out of contract in the summer and likely to be a transfer target in January for Rangers and other clubs, that could have meant he had already played his last game for Hearts. But, after receiving a scan, it transpired the injury was just a strain and the player has been informed that he will only be out for around three weeks, giving him an outside chance of returning to the fold in time for the team’s return to Tynecastle on 19 November.
Craig Levein’s side will play host to Partick Thistle that day, in their first game back at their home ground following the construction of a new main stand.
The news that Walker, pictured, may be able to feature will be a boost to Hearts manager Levein who has been struggling to cope with an injury crisis, with his midfield particularly hard hit.
Walker joins a lengthy list of casualties, with Arnaud Djoum, Don Cowie, Prince Buaben and Malaury Martin all trying to battle back to full fitness. They are joined by defender Aaron Hughes.
Walker may not be the only one back for the Tynecastle homecoming, with Levein hopeful that Cowie, Hughes and Djoum may be ready to play a part by then, which would be a timely reinstatement.
The club are hoping that after the lengthy, self-imposed exile to accommodate the building works, the return to Tynecastle will give them a lift and coincide with a run of wins to help them peg back the teams above them and the presence of Walker and one or two more experienced players in the squad could be key to that.