Hibs boss gives injury updates on Martin Boyle, Darren McGregor, David Gray and Vykintas Slivka
Hibs boss Paul Heckingbottom has dashed fans’ hopes that winger Martin Boyle will be fit to play immediately after the international break.
Boyle is recovering after having a second knee operation in the space of just seven months, having torn his meniscus on the eve of Australia’s Asian Cup campaign and then suffering the exact same injury in only his third game back.
The 26-year-old hinted of an earlier than expected return in replying on Twitter to a fan’s query as to when he might be fit, tweeting: “Should be good to go after the international break.”
But while reporting Boyle was doing well and that the Easter Road club’s medical staff were pleased with his progress, Heckingbottom played down the suggestion he’d be back in his plans soon.
“He is not going to get thrown straight back in,” insisted the head coach. “He is going to have to train and play games before he plays first team football.”
Boyle’s second operation, said Heckingbottom, had involved removing the cartilage, whereas the previous surgery had attempted to repair it, adding: “We are happy with that.”
Central defender Adam Jackson missed the match with Aberdeen as he continued to undergo the necessary protocols having suffered concussion in a head knock against Celtic the previous weekend, a match right-back Jason Naismith sat out having needed stitches, some of them internally, in a “nasty wound” sustained during the derby with Hearts. Naismith, however, is back to full fitness.
While fellow defenders David Gray (knee) and Darren McGregor, who have both been sidelined since August, were said to be recovering along with midfielder Vykintas Slivka who is nursing a broken bone in his ankle, Heckingbottom admitted he couldn’t count on them being fit for the trip to Hamilton a week on Saturday.
He said: “Darren’s a pelvic issue and he has to keep ticking things off and get to the point where he is comfortable. David’s going to be a while. Vicky is straightforward, returning from a cracked bone.
“Whether they’re back for the game after the international break, I don’t know, but they’re all on the right path.”