JJ hopeful on Wallace

Hearts boss believes left-back will be fit

Wallace: Calf tear

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Hearts manager Jim Jefferies is hopeful Scotland international left-back Lee Wallace will be fit for the start of the new SPL campaign.

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The 22-year-old is now doubtful for the club's season-opener with St Johnstone after tearing a calf muscle at their Italian training camp.

The talented full-back sat out most of the sessions at Il Ciocco in Tuscany and while Jefferies admits the injury is a concern, he remains hopeful he will be fit sooner rather than later.

"Lee's injury is a small tear to his calf," Jefferies told the club's official website. "Obviously it's a concern but I'm hopeful he'll be OK for the start of the season.

"He'll get more treatment when we get back and we'll just have to wait and see how he progresses, but at the moment it's really too early to put a time frame on things."

Hearts rounded off their week-long stint in Italy with a 2-1 practice-match victory over a local Barga select XI, but Jefferies revealed his players were feeling the effect of gruelling schedule.

"They were all very heavy-legged," he continued. "Some of the boys were saying that it's the hardest pre-season they have had and that's what we want. They will reap the benefits and that will show in the weeks ahead."