Ian MURRAY is set to end his six-month injury nightmare by returning to action to aid Hibs’ bid for SPL survival.
The 31-year-old has been sidelined since undergoing an operation immediately after the January 2 derby against Hearts, his first start since the end of October, in an effort to cure a hip problem which had been plaguing him for some time.
While the surgery was a success and Murray’s initial recovery was ahead of schedule, it then slowed with the utility man not helped by picking up a chest infection which put him back almost a fortnight.
He revisited the specialist who operated on him at the beginning of this month and has now been given the green light to resume full training with Pat Fenlon’s squad.
The imminent return of such an experienced player will be a boost for Fenlon with the Easter Road side hovering just three points above SPL basement club Dunfermline with only seven league matches remaining.
The Hibs manager, though, will be anxious not to rush the player back before he is totally ready and risk him suffering a setback, a finely balanced judgment as games run out.
Hibs, of course, also have the semi-final of the William Hill Scottish Cup against Aberdeen and for Murray there is the carrot of notching up his 300th game for Hibs should he manage to play in half-a-dozen of the club’s remaining matches.
Meanwhile, former Hibs striker Derek Riordan is poised to sign for St Johnstone having been on trial. Saints boss Steve Lomas is keen to snap up the former Scotland star on a short-term contract to boost the Perth club’s hopes of clinching a place in Europe.
Hibs teenage defender Jordon Forster has extended his loan spell with Third Division outfit Berwick Rangers until the end of the season.