HIBS’ Honduran star Jorge Claros will play in Sunday’s William Hill Scottish Cup clash against Aberdeen – and then make a mad dash home to help his country’s bid to make next year’s World Cup finals in Brazil.
The Central American nation begin the last lap of qualifying matches when they face the United States next Wednesday, with midfield ace Claros named in the squad despite the recent uncertainty over his future. It was initially feared Claros would miss the Dons tie, however, he has been given permission to arrive late in his homeland which will allow him to play at Easter Road.
The 27-year-old will make a 12-hour journey via London and Miami to San Pedro Sula, arriving with little time to spare.
It was further good news for Hibs boss Pat Fenlon after protracted negotiations to extend Claros’s year-long loan deal from Honduran side Motagua until the end of the season finally paid off.
The shine was taken off it a little though, as right back Tim Clancy was forced to limp out of last night’s defeat by Ross County in Dingwall after only 20 minutes with a hamstring problem, placing a huge question mark against his name for the weekend.
Fenlon admitted there was concern, saying: “Tim felt his hamstring get a bit tight. He got a bang on it against Aberdeen at the weekend and it tightened up. We got him off early – we didn’t take a risk – but we will see how he is over the next few days.”
Better news for Hibs was that Northern Ireland defender Ryan McGivern, who missed the trip to the Highlands having also suffered a hamstring problem which forced him off at half-time in the goal-less draw at Pittodrie, has shown signs of improvement and Fenlon is optimistic he’ll be available. And having watched former Hibs star Ivan Sproule claim a third successive win over his side for the Staggies, Fenlon was hit with a longer-term problem as midfield terrier Gary Deegan picked up a late booking for a foul on County’s Rocco Quinn.
Having returned to action following a lengthy lay-off as he recovered from a broken jaw, Deegan has earned a flurry of bookings, five in his last seven matches taking his tally for the season to six and so sparking a one-match ban which will be served when Hibs travel to face St Mirren on Saturday, February 16.
Meanwhile, Fenlon admitted his side lacked a cutting edge as they failed to score for the third time in four matches, a run of four matches without defeat brought to an end as Sproule claimed his third goal in as many matches since his move north.
The Hibs manager said: “Up to the goal we did all right, there was nothing in the game. We gave away one chance and lost the game but there was very little in it. We just did not have that sharpness, that cutting edge where we needed to create a few more chances.
“We had a lot of forward players on the pitch and we should be able to do that.”