Hibs boss Alan Stubbs has revealed he hopes to have striker Farid El Alagui back in action within the next month.
The 30-year-old’s absence has been a growing concern for Easter Road fans, El Alagui having not featured at all so far this term after returning to the team towards the end of last season following six months out with a ruptured Achilles tendon.
The former Falkirk and Brentford player underwent a minor knee operation in the close season and also had surgery to remove a pin in his ankle, inserted as part of the process to aid his recovery from the Achilles injury. But now El Alagui is back working with the club’s Development Squad and is set to undergo a tough training programme over the next fortnight which, should there be no setbacks, would see him “introduced to some match situations.”
Stubbs said: “We’ve always said Farid is coming back from a really serious injury, an injury that potentially could have been a career ender a few years ago and the only reason we see players make a full recovery is because of an improvement in techniques.
“Farid has probably made more progress in the last three weeks than he has over the last six months. Sometimes with an injury you get to a certain stage where you plateau and the improvement just seems to flatline and then it takes a bit of time before that improvements starts to go again.
“I think over the last couple of months, Farid has been at that flatline but over the last couple of weeks we have seen an improvement. He has been able to step up his running and, in the last couple of days, he’s been integrated into training with the Under-20s.
“There’s no rush, he’s making progress but to put a timescale on it with him having been out for such a long time would be the wrong thing to do.”
However, having said that, the head coach believes that, if all continues to go well, El Alagui will soon be ready to rejoin the first-team squad.
He said: “I am very hopeful we are going to see Farid back playing in the next month. He is going to have to do a fitness programme over the next ten days to two weeks that is going to be tough for him. But if he comes through that okay and gets the green light I’d like to introduce him into some match situations.”