HEARTS manager Craig Levein is revelling in a double dose of good news after revealing Steven Naismith’s knee operation had gone better than expected and that Clevid Dikamona’s contract had been extended.

Naismith underwent surgery for the second time in five months on Monday and Levein is confident he will make an earlier return following initial estimates he could be sidelined for up to ten weeks.

Naismith has notched 14 club goals this term but has not featured since the February 27 defeat to Celtic.

Levein said: “The operation went really well. They’ve taken a little bit of the cartilage out and it wasn’t as bad as they first feared, so I’m fairly certain that he’ll play again before the season ends. That’s a boost, of course.

“I’m not sure how long he will be out, I don’t want to put a number on it and be wrong.

“I’ve spoken to the physio, young Craig (Maitland), who went down with Steven and watched the operation, so I got a blow by blow account of what happened.

“I think most of the rehab will be done here. The fact that he’s back up the road with his family is a good thing for him as well. I don’t think there will be much rehab in the first couple of weeks, we’ll just let the whole thing settle and he could probably do that at home. Then after that we’ll get cracking.”

There was a further fillip for Hearts when Diakmona signed a new deal until 2020.

Having already signed captain Christophe Berra, John Souttar, Michael Smith, Uche Ikpeazu and now Dikamona, and with talks continuing with Naismith, Peter Haring and Arnaud Djoum, Levein admits he anticipates a much quieter summer window.

Hearts are expected to announce the pre-contract signing of Livingston defender Craig Halkett and Levein said: “Clevid has also extended his contract by another year, which was up in the summer. I’m trying to get everything in place for next season as early as possible.

“We’ve made quite a few signings of important players like Christophe, John, Michael Smith, Uche and now Clevid.

“We are still trying with Naisy, Peter Haring and Arnaud Djoum. If I can do that then it means that next summer we’ll probably only have to sign two or three players.”