Hibs defender Liam Fontaine is set to end his two-month injury nightmare with a possible run-out with the Easter Road outfit’s development squad later this week.
The 30-year-old has been out of action since suffering a calf problem as Neil Lennon’s side claimed a 2-1 home victory against Championship newcomers Dunfermline in mid-August – a time when the Hibees boss was deploying a three-man backline.
Fontaine was forced to limp off 16 minutes from the end of that match and has since missed eight games as he’s battled back to fitness although, given the length of his absence, Lennon would be unlikely to thrust him straight back into his first-team squad until he gets some game time under his belt. An opportunity to do so could come on Thursday night when coach Grant Murray takes his development squad – who made it seven games unbeaten with a 4-2 victory over Tynecastle FC in the second round of the SFA Youth Cup at the weekend – north to face Aberdeen in a league match at Peterhead’s Balmoor Stadium.
Lennon said: “That’s something I’ll talk to Liam about. He’s been out for quite a while now so it’s something he’ll maybe want to do himself to get some game time into his legs.
“But Liam is a fantastic athlete, probably the fittest of them all in the squad, so that should help him recover quicker than most.”
Hibs Under-20s will now face Dundee in the third round of the SFA Youth Cup, their goals against Tynecastle at Saughton Enclosure having come from Jamie Gullan, who scored twice but was denied a hat-trick when he had a penalty saved, Fraser Murray and Oli Shaw while captain Sonny Swanson scored twice for the home side.
• Hibs kid Lewis Allan has had his loan deal with Livingston cut short. The 19-year-old striker joined the League One side in August, but struggled to make an impact and made only four appearances as a substitute. Lions manager David Hopkin said: “It was felt the travelling to and from Livingston, along with the lack of first-team opportunities due to the form of Liam Buchanan and Danny Mullen, meant Lewis was always going to struggle to make the breakthrough.”