Hearts: Lee Wallace has a chance to make return for Edinburgh derby

HEARTS star Lee Wallace is on course to make his comeback in the New Year's Day derby clash after making "tremendous progress" in his recovery from the knee injury he picked up playing for Scotland.

• Jim Jefferies is all smiles as he holds aloft the Clydesdale Bank Manager of the Month award he received for November

Once pitches are playable again, the defender will get a run out in a closed door game, giving him an excellent chance of being available for the visit of Hibs to Tynecastle in three weeks' time.

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"Lee has been making tremendous progress with the physiotherapist," revealed Hearts boss Jim Jefferies when asked for an update on the player's recovery programme.

"The next step is to try and arrange a game for him and, depending on the weather, that will hopefully be within the next week or so."

Wallace feared his season might have been over when he was stretchered off early in the second-half of the European Championship qualifier in Glasgow, a game he played in as a late replacement for the injured Steven Whittaker.

But the 23-year-old was boosted by the news his injury was not as bad as first feared and has been working hard in the gym over the past few weeks.

Wallace came out recently and said his aim was to be back in time to face Hibs and, weather permitting, that is now a distinct possibility.

"He'll have to get a couple of games under his belt but he certainly has a chance of being back for the New Year's Day game, which would be a nice boost for us," added Jefferies.

Jefferies is also hoping to have Andrew Driver, David Obua and Jason Thomson all back available again early in the New Year.

Obua, who has been sidelined with a groin injury, is now back training with the first-team squad, while thigh victim Driver is also close to stepping up his bid for a long-awaited return.