Alan Stubbs today revealed he fears losing Dylan McGeouch for a third successive match as the midfielder battles to overcome an ankle injury.
The on-loan Celtic youngster turned in a man-of-the-match performance in the second Edinburgh derby of the season but was forced to sit out the League Cup quarter-final against Dundee United a few days later, suspended after being sent off during the victory over Ross County in the previous round.
And McGeouch was conspicuous by his absence as the Easter Road side clocked up a 2-1 win against Cowdenbeath at Central Park at the weekend.
The Celtic loanee had been expected to return at the weekend, and his absence surprised the travelling support as Stubbs stuck by the players who had only gone down to Premiership outfit United in a sudden death penalty shoot-out.
But the head coach explained: “Dylan has an ankle injury. If it was up to him he’d have played but he is not our player; we have to do what is best for him.”
Revealing Celtic hadn’t asked for McGeouch not to be involved, Stubbs disclosed the player could miss the visit of Queen of the South on Saturday, a match which would see Hibs move up to third in the Championship table if they can secure a win by two goals or more. Stubbs said: “Dylan had a scan on Thursday and it showed he needs a little bit of rest. He may miss Saturday, but hopefully he will be okay after that.”
Stubbs has hopes that goalkeeper Mark Oxley will be fit for the weekend, the on-loan Hull City player forced out of action at half-time against Cowdenbeath having picked up a back injury in a clash with Kudus Oyenuga resulting in 19-year-old Kleton Perntreou being handed a first-team debut. He was beaten by a Jon Robertson header but goals in the first half from Paul Hanlon and
Jason Cummings secured victory. Stubbs said: “Kleton was probably a bit surprised and it was about keeping him calm at half-time.
“Mark came in and his back was getting stiffer and stiffer, it spasmed and we could not take a risk with him. But I think he will be all right.”
• Hibs’ allocation of just 700 tickets for their away match against Dumbarton a week on Saturday went on sale to season ticket holders today, limited to one each.
• The club’s Under-20 side will be aiming to make it seven games unbeaten when they face Celtic in the SPFL Development League at Cappielow tonight (kick-off 7pm).