Hearts get huge injury boost for key player but another star ruled out for the season

Hearts have been handed a huge injury boost with the news Liam Boyce could return before the end of the season.

The Northern Irishman has been out since August after suffering a cruciate ligament rupture in a win over St Johnstone at Tynecastle Park. He was expected to miss the remainder of the season but Robbie Neilson confirmed he is already back running. It could mean he could make his return in the final weeks of the campaign.

Boyce's influence was sorely missed in the first few months, especially in Europe. His standing within the team was confirmed when he signed a contract extension in December, keeping him at the club until May 2024 with an option for a further year.

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There was less positive news elsewhere. Beni Baningime is behind Boyce in his recovery. March was his last first-team involvement prior to suffering a cruciate ligament injury. Meanwhile, Neilson revealed Gary Mackay-Steven is out for the remainder of the season. He only made a handful of appearances before fracturing his foot. The winger is in the final months of his contract at Tynecastle Park and could have played his final match for the club.

Peter Haring is still unavailable due to the serious head knock sustained against Aberdeen in October. The Austrian has been able to train but continues to follow concussion protocols and has been unable to return to first-team action.

Hearts are in action against Dundee United at Tynecastle Park on Saturday as they look to bounce back from the 3-0 loss to Rangers on Wednesday.



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