Hearts hope Webster will recover

28 April 2011 12:00

Hearts are optimistic Andy Webster will be restored to their defence for Saturday's Clydesdale Bank Premier League clash at Kilmarnock.

The 29-year-old former Wigan and Rangers defender went off at half-time in last Saturday's 3-3 draw with Motherwell with a groin strain. The hosts were leading 2-0 at that point and went 3-0 ahead before conceding three second-half goals as Well fought back for a point.

Hearts first-team coach Gary Locke told the club's official website, www.heartsfc.co.uk: "There's a possibility Andy might train before the end of the week."

He added: "With Marius (Zaliukas) missing we missed Andy when he came off. That was definitely the turning point of the game. He's a big presence at the back for us, a talker, a good leader.

"Up until then we defended pretty well and until Andy came off I didn't think we were going to concede a goal. But hopefully the big man will be fit for the weekend."

Locke also revealed midfielder Ruben Palazuelos is having treatment on a groin problem ahead of the game at Rugby Park.

The match will see Locke, manager Jim Jefferies and assistant boss Billy Brown return to their former club and targeting three points which would take Hearts a step further to securing third place.

Hearts are seven points clear of fourth-placed Dundee United with four matches remaining. United play Celtic on Sunday.

Locke added: "If we win on Saturday we put the pressure on Dundee United going to Parkhead and that's all we can do."

Meanwhile, Hearts have announced a two-year shirt sponsorship agreement with Wonga.com. The online short-term loans company will replace Ukio Bankas on the front of Hearts shirts for all matches from next season.

Source: PA