Neil Lennon today revealed Hibs could be without key midfielders John McGinn and Fraser Fyvie for their crunch Ladbrokes Championship clash against second-placed Dundee United next Friday.
McGinn has already been ruled out of the trip to Tannadice as he begins eight weeks on the sidelines having undergone surgery on the ankle problem which has been troubling him in recent weeks. But now Lennon has a major concern about Fyvie, admitting the Easter Road club’s medical staff are “working round the clock” in a bid to help him overcome the groin injury which forced him off during last weekend’s 4-0 demolition of Queen of the South.
At the time, Lennon disclosed that Fyvie had been enduring an ongoing but slight groin problem while expressing the hope he’d be fit to face United. However, the injury is now more serious than first thought. The Hibs head coach said: “There’s a bit of swelling around the groin but we are still hopeful he will be okay for the Dundee United game.”
However, Lennon conceded that while he has options, it was “not ideal” to have McGinn, who eventually found the pain from the calcified bone in his left ankle too great to bear, and Fyvie out at the same time.
He said: “We have the likes of Dylan McGeouch and Marvin Bartley, who can come in and do a job for us but we are working round the clock to have Fraser ready for next Friday.”
McGinn had an operation to “shave” the bone yesterday, the 22-year-old later tweeting to say it had been a success.
Lennon had hoped McGinn might be able to continue playing until after the United match but disclosed having the operation now should mean the former St Mirren player won’t miss as many games as he might have done had he continued to delay going under the knife.
He said: “John was too sore after the Queen of the South game. He was starting to get pain not just in the local area but up the lateral side of his leg. There was always the danger that it could fracture with it being so unstable.
“John came walking in with a limp on Monday and you have to look after the kid’s welfare at the end of the day. It was too much to ask him to keep risking it. There is some sort of result in that he won’t miss as many games as he would had he stayed on for the Dundee United game.
“We’ll get him back in mid-January which is an important stage of the season. He’ll miss seven games instead of nine so that is a bonus if all goes well.”
Lennon described McGinn’s operation as “pretty routine”, a procedure which should minimise the chance of it happening again while expressing his belief the Scotland midfielder will be back in action within the predicted timescale.
He said: “John was going to have it (surgery) eventually and, had we kept him going, we might have complicated things further. It got to the stage where he could not go on any more. Psychologically, it was affecting him as it is difficult to play through so much discomfort.
“His recent performances have been remarkable considering he has had that problem and, if we hadn’t told anybody, nobody would have known the difference. He maybe hasn’t hit the heights of last season but he is still the best midfielder in the division, even with an injury.”