Hearts manager Robbie Neilson has confirmed that former Rangers starlet Craig Halkett is set to be fit to take on the Gers at Ibrox after the international break despite recent injury problems.

Halkett, who grew up a Rangers fan and was part of the club’s Academy setup, opted to leave the Light Blues in 2016 in search of first-team opportunities following loan spells at Clyde and Berwick Rangers.

Hearts v Rangers - Scottish Cup Quarter Final

Since leaving Ibrox, Craig Halkett has beaten Rangers with both Hearts and Livingston. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

He’s now a Hearts player after a successful three-year stint with Livingston – during which he experienced back-to-back promotions – ended in 2019.

The 26-year-old has already managed to rack up 77 appearances for the Jambos but he’s had several injury issues during his time at Tynecastle and has been forced off in each of their last two league matches.

He would be a big loss for the visitors if he were to miss out at Ibrox, but Neilson expects him to be fit in time for the top-of-the-table clash.

“Craig had a back spasm last week and then it happened again,” explained the Hearts boss [Daily Record]. “He’ll be fine for the Rangers game, we just needed to settle it down.”

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“But it means he probably won’t be playing much golf on his days off!”

Heart of Midlothian v Celtic - Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership

Hearts boss Robbie Neilson says Halkett will be fit enough to take on Rangers.. (Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images)

Neilson delivers Hearts injury boost ahead of Rangers clash

Halkett has been a key part of a frugal Hearts defence so far this season.

The unbeaten Edinburgh club have only conceded five goals from their eight matches to date and have kept clean sheets in four of their last five outings.

Rangers haven’t been playing the free-flowing, goal-laden football that many expected them to, but it’d still take a brave man to back the away team at Ibrox.

The last time these two clubs met in Govan in a league fixture, the Gers triumphed 5-0.

Meanwhile, in a fleet-footed 18-year-old, we believe Rangers have a real star in the making on their hands.

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