Beattie nears full fitness

Beattie has not played since pulling his hamstring at Dundee United in October. In contrast, the midfielder Alan Thompson, who has a back problem, could play at Easter Road.

The Rangers defender Steven Smith, 20, returns to the squad for the visit of Kilmarnock after missing the Champions' League tie at Villarreal in midweek with flu. Rangers' manager, Alex McLeish, has no fresh injury concerns.

Hearts will be without four key players for their trip to Inverness Caledonian Thistle. The midfielder Rudi Skacel (ankle), striker Edgaras Jankauskas (dead leg) and defender Steven Pressley (virus) join the suspended Julien Brellier on the sidelines. The Scotland international Paul Hartley returns to the squad after serving a ban.

Dundee United are boosted ahead of their game against Livingston with the news that Derek Stillie should return from a back injury. But Jim McIntyre (neck), Paul Ritchie (bruised leg) and Grant Brebner (calf) are all out, while the club's player-manager, Craig Brewster, is still out with a shin injury.

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