Hearts in Craig Halkett injury update ahead of Rangers game as Robbie Neilson provides encouraging news

Hearts are hopeful of Craig Halkett featuring in one of their next two games.

Robbie Neilson’s men host Rangers at Tynecastle Park on Saturday before welcoming Fiorentina to Gorgie on Thursday in a crucial Europa Conference League encounter.

It is the start of a hectic month for Hearts with eight fixtures across October, including games against both sides of the Old Firm three European fixtures and away trips to Aberdeen, Ross County and Kilmarnock.

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Neilson has not been short of injury headaches this season. Liam Boyce is out with a long-term injury and Kye Rowles isn’t expected back until later this month. Lewis Neilson had an issue while on international duty with the Scotland Under-21s.

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As for Halkett, twice already this season the centre-back has been replaced early in European games due to injury. However, he was involved on the training ground for Thursday's session.

“We’re still pushing with Craig," he told Sky Sports. “It will be touch and go for Saturday. We hope to have him back for the Thursday game against Fiorentina.

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"Other than that it is Boyce and Baningime the two that are out.”

Hearts currently sit three points behind Rangers knowing they can jump into second with a two-goal win on Saturday.

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Craig Halkett with Lee McCulloch during Hearts' training session. (Photo by Mark Scates / SNS Group)

“We've been waiting for it for a couple of weeks with the international game”, Neilson said. “It's something we’ve been gearing up for. Really looking forward to the game and it’s an opportunity.

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“When we are playing at Tynecastle we expect to win every game, it’s no different on Saturday.

“There is no doubt we are playing against a very good team with a lot of international players.”

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