Neil Lennon lamented the news that Hibs defender Darren McGregor will undergo minor surgery this week and could be sidelined until after next month’s international break.
The 32-year-old has been managing an ongoing knee problem recently, but it flared up a fortnight ago and forced him off at half-time in the draw against Dundee.
The defender visited a specialist at the end of last week and has been advised that he will have to go under the knife to mend a torn meniscus.
McGregor’s recovery time is anticipated to be between two to four weeks, which means, after sitting out Saturday’s draw at St Johnstone, he faces the prospect of missing the remaining matches in September, against Motherwell, Livingston (Betfred Cup), Ross County and Celtic.
With the international break falling on the first weekend of next month, the former St Mirren and Rangers centre-back, who has been a regular for Hibs over the past two seasons, is unlikely to play again before the home match against Aberdeen on October 14.
“He’s due for surgery this week, so we’ll just have to see how it recovers,” Lennon told the Evening News. “We’re hoping it’ll be two to four weeks. He needs the meniscus trimmed. It’s a minimal procedure but it’s still something we could have done without.”
Meanwhile, Lennon is thrilled with the way Hibs are shaping up after they followed up a strong performance in the 1-1 draw at Dundee with another impressive display in Saturday’s match away to St Johnstone, which finished with the same scoreline. The manager believes only a lack of cutting edge in front of goal is undermining his team, who sit sixth in the Premiership after five games.
“We totally dominated all aspects of the game,” said Lennon. “Ofir Marciano could have played with his pipe and slippers. It was pretty similar to the way we played at Dundee, but coming to St Johnstone and playing as well as that against a team who are streetwise and battle-hardened was good.
“We matched them physically and the football we played at times was outstanding. St Johnstone don’t give much away, but we had clear-cut opportunities and that pleases me more than anything else. The only thing that doesn’t please me is that we didn’t take them. We are not getting what we deserve at the moment based on performances. That’s two games away from home where we have completely dominated.”