James McPake fit to play for Hibs in derby clash

The Hibs squad are put through their paces in a training stint held in front of fans during an open day at Easter Road.

The Hibs squad are put through their paces in a training stint held in front of fans during an open day at Easter Road.

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Hibs skipper James McPake has proved his fitness ahead of Sunday’s first Edinburgh derby of the season – in front of 
hundreds of Easter Road fans.

Fears had been raised as to whether the influential defender would be available to face Hearts after he limped off in the dying seconds of Hibs’ opening day defeat by Dundee United.

As Tannadice midfielder Michael Gardyne raced away to complete United’s 3-0 victory, McPake crashed to the turf and, after lengthy treatment by physio Calum Rea to what 
appeared to be an ankle problem, he was helped to the touchline. His replacement, Sean O’Hanlon, barely made it on to the pitch before referee Craig Thomson blew the final whistle.

But the 27-year-old, named in Northern Ireland’s squad for next week’s friendly against Finland in Belfast, joined his team-mates, including boss Pat Fenlon’s sixth summer signing, Gary Deegan, on the Easter Road turf for yesterday’s open training session which he 
completed unscathed.