Alan Stubbs insists Henri Anier can still play a big part in Hibs’ season despite an injury-tarnished start to his stint at Easter Road.
The Estonian striker joined on a season-long loan from Dundee United more than two months ago, but is yet to feature at all for the first team after being plagued by a thigh problem.
He eventually made his first appearance of any kind in green-and-white in last night’s development league match against Hearts at Ainslie Park.
The 24-year-old striker looked lively in flashes before being substituted after an hour in a pre-planned move.
With attacking trio Jason Cummings, James Keatings and Dominique Malonga all in good form, Stubbs is in no rush to throw Anier into first-team action, although he was happy to see him get his first outing under his belt last night.
“It was good to get Henri out on the pitch finally because he’s had a stop-start time since he came here,” the head coach told the Evening News. “He had a thigh injury and then when it looked like he was about to come back from it, he had a little setback with it. It’s just taken a little bit of time, longer than what we would initially have liked. The most important thing is that he’s over his injuries now.”
Stubbs is excited about the prospect of finally being able to call on Anier in the next couple of weeks.
“I’ve still got high hopes for Henri,” said the head coach. “Like the rest of them, he’ll be competing for a place in the team. He’s another body who will give us more competition, which is healthy.
“We’ll probably still need to get another game for the 20s into him, but after that I think he’ll be available to play for the first team.”