Hearts: Larry Kingston ready to play key role in Edinburgh derby

LARRY KINGSTON is ready to be recalled for Saturday's Edinburgh derby following his omission from the Hearts team which lost to Motherwell last weekend.

• Larry Kingston could feature in this weekend's Edinburgh derby after recovering from a minor back strain

Manager Jim Jefferies has revealed that Kingston was demoted to the substitutes' bench because of a minor back strain. Mindful of the subsequent visit to Easter Road, Jefferies opted not to risk the Ghanaian star and selected Michael Stewart in midfield instead.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Stewart's sub-standard performance saw him replaced at half-time by Ian Black but Kingston did not make an appearance, with Jefferies keen to protect him ahead of the critical encounter with Hibs.

"I've had Blackie and Kingston in midfield recently and they've done well," said Jefferies.

"Kingston didn't look sharp in training last week because he's had a wee bit of a back strain.

"I was thinking ahead as to whether I will need him this week because he's certainly been doing well. But the team wasn't weakened against Motherwell, we had Michael Stewart and Ruben Palazuelos in there.

"They've played many games and they looked good in training last week.

"We won't take any risks with Kingston but he's better now. Lee Wallace and Suso are giving us concerns as they didn't train yesterday, but we think they will be okay.

"I've got Eggert Jonsson free of suspension so that's good news."

Jefferies praised Jonsson's professionalism and acclaimed him as an example to Hearts' academy players.

The manager said: "His attitude and determination is an example to others at the club. He trains every day like he plays at the weekend."