Hibs boss Alan Stubbs today revealed crocked defender Jordon Forster could be back in contention for a place when Falkirk visit Easter Road next Saturday.
The 21-year-old has missed Hibs’ last six matches after breaking the fifth metatarsal in his right foot in a freak training ground accident, the injury requiring an operation to insert a pin to hold the bone together.
Forster will also sit out today’s Scottish Cup clash against Alloa Athletic but has been given the green light by a specialist to step up his training, which he has been doing under the watchful eye of the club’s medical staff.
Stubbs said: “There’s been an increased tempo to his training, he’s really stepped it up over the last few days and all being well he’ll be back sooner rather than later. As long as there are no hiccups, and there’s no reason for us to think there will be any, we’re probably looking at the next week or two.
“However, we have to make sure, because he has really started to lift the intensity of his training, that we listen to his body and that he doesn’t try to get back too soon and suddenly we have an unnecessary muscle injury. But we are optimistic that he is right on schedule or, if anything, ahead of it, so he should be back with us soon.”
Stubbs admitted, though, that once he wins his battle for full fitness, Forster will then face another fight – trying to oust either Paul Hanlon on Liam Fontaine from central defence.
He said: “Unfortunately for Jordon he was in the team when he was injured and the lads who have come in have done really well, so that will be his next challenge. The good thing is that we have competition for places. He’s going to have to dispossess someone else. That’s what I want him to do, but I know for certain the lads who have the jerseys at the moment will put up a really good fight to stop him getting there.
“And for me that’s the ideal scenario.”