Jordon Forster likely to make Hibs return against Ayr

Jordon Forster

Jordon Forster

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Jordon Forster is likely to return to action in today’s Scottish Cup quarter-final at home to Ayr United after recovering from the hamstring problem he suffered in the goalless draw with Hearts at Tynecastle three weeks ago.

With Darren McGregor suspended and Paul Hanlon still working his way back from injury, Forster is expected to partner Efe Ambrose in a new-look defence after the on-loan Celtic defender impressed Lennon in the 2-0 defeat at St Mirren on Wednesday. Brian McLean, who was an unused substitute in midweek, is also in contention for a debut after joining on a short-term deal this week.

“Jordon’s fit so he’ll come into consideration,” said Lennon. “I’ve got a choice of three good centre-backs. It’ll be Efe and one other [against Ayr]. The one positive from Wednesday was Efe’s performance. He was very comfortable and assured and looked like he had played here every week.

“Brian got through the medical alright and we’ve done a bit of conditioning work with him. It’d be a bit of a gamble to start him because he’s not played since November but he’s very experienced. He’s that composed, strong, quiet type.”

Lennon hopes to have Hanlon back for selection in the coming weeks. The defender hasn’t featured since the 3-0 win over Dundee United two months ago after undergoing surgery to mend a pelvic problem.

“Paul’s back doing straight-line running,” the manager reported. “He’s not doing twisting and turning just yet but it’s an improvement. We’ll increase his rehabilitation over the next few days and if there’s no reaction, he’ll hopefully start training at the end of next week.”

Dylan McGeouch will be sidelined again today after a bug prevented him training and stepping up his fitness. The midfielder, like Hanlon, hasn’t played since the United game due to a calf problem.