Pat FENLON today revealed midfield star Gary Deegan has been left “a bit depressed” as he recovers at home having had his jaw broken in an unprovoked attack outside a city centre nightspot.
The 24-year-old, pictured right, is desperate to return to action, but Fenlon insisted he won’t be rushed back. Deegan was back at hospital this week for a progress check on the injury sustained in the early-morning assault a month ago but, as yet, has not been given the green light to rejoin his team-mates in training.
Fenlon said: “Gary’s not great to be honest. He’s fairly sore and not a happy camper at the moment, which you can udnerstand. He’s a bit depressed and frustrated because he wants to train and play. He’s hard to get off the training ground most days so not being able to do anything is difficult for him. When he’s ready to get back we must do our best to get him back as quickly as possible but also make sure he’s back to full health. At the same time, it is important we do not rush him. His health is more important than anything.”
Deegan’s early-season performances were such that some questioned how Hibs would fill the void, but Fenlon insisted he’s been delighted by the contribution of Tom Taiwo, the last of his summer signings having, ironically, replaced the former Coventry City star for the final 15 minutes of the 3-0 win against Dundee only hours before the Irish star was attacked.
Taiwo has since started against both Ross County and Motherwell, enjoying mixed fortunes as Hibs lost in Dingwall but bounced back to thump the Steelmen 4-0 on their own turf to reclaim second place in the SPL table.
Pointing out Taiwo’s outing against the Staggies had been his first full match in four months, Fenlon said: “Tom found his feet a bit in the Ross County game but I felt he was excellent against Motherwell.
“He’s a good player with a lot of experience under his belt so I had no fears with him coming in.”