By George Overhill

11th May, 2022 | 3:10pm

Hearts get six players back from injury ahead of Rangers double-header, including John Souttar

Hearts have received a major boost ahead of their double-header with Rangers as six players are set to return from injury, Robbie Neilson has confirmed.

Gers face the Edinburgh side in the last league game of the season on Saturday (14 May), before they clash again at Hampden Park a week later in the Scottish Cup final.

And they are set to be strengthened by the availability of six first-team players, including Bears-bound defender John Souttar who has been out for the past 10 weeks.

Central defensive partner Craig Halkett is also due to be back, along with Andy Halliday, Michael Smith, Cammy Devlin and Aaron McEneff, although the Jambos boss is still concerned about their match-fitness for the cup final.

“I’d rather it was three of four weeks ago because now they’ll go into these games not 100 per cent fit. That’s the dilemma we have. Where will they be fitness wise going into a massive game?” he said ahead of their game against Motherwell this week, via the Daily Record.

“They don’t need to prove themselves because they’ve been working hard. It’s more mentally for them to be able to say, ‘I’m ready’.

“I’ve played some minutes against Motherwell or against Rangers, so they can say ‘I’m ready to go’, as opposed to just rocking up at Hampden.”


With Gers having fought through various injury problems of their own in recent months it isn’t the news they want to hear.

Jamaican international striker Kemar Roofe in particular is facing a race to be fit for the pair of finals, against Eintracht Frankfurt in Seville, and then Hearts a few days later.

That Souttar will likely be available is sure to be the source of much focus, as the defender signed a deal in January that will bring him to Ibrox in the summer.

Despite the club’s attempts to get the deal finished during the window, Neilson’s side held firm.

Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s men overwhelmed the Jam Tarts 5-0 in February while they were missing both central defenders, Souttar and Halkett.

So with both set to be back it will be both a tougher task for the Light Blues, and also the first time that the Glasgow-bound 25-year-old has faced his new employers since the deal was agreed.

In other Rangers news, Kenny Miller has made a Europa League-based prediction on Connor Goldson’s chances of remaining at the club.