Hearts: Souttar, Naismith & Washington ready to play, says Daniel Stendel
Hearts defender John Souttar could make his return in Saturday's Scottish Cup tie against Airdrieonians.
The 23-year-old Scotland international has not played since sustaining an ankle injury on the opening day of the Premiership campaign in August.
But he is back in training along with Steven Naismith and Conor Washington, who have also missed large chunks of the season.
"All three are important players for us," said manager Daniel Stendel.
"We hope that they stay fit and can play in the second part of the season, so much more than they played in the first."
Stendel, without a win in his first five matches, also said the top flight's bottom club are "very close" to bringing in some new recruits.
Speaking to HeartsTV, he added: "I think we need some quality to score more goals.
"It's sometimes hard, for every club in January, to find the right player for the right money. But I can say that the club work hard to help us to bring the players in.
"I hope that we can give news this week and we can bring some players in. We are very close to signing and I hope in the next days we can say yes."