A case of good news and bad news for Hibs ahead of Rangers semi-final
Hibs manager Jack Ross has revealed striker Christian Doidge will play a part in Sunday’s Premier Sports Cup semi-final with Rangers – but midfielder Kyle Magennis may be absent for the rest of 2021.
Doidge is back in full training and featured in a closed-doors match at Easter Road earlier this week. The Welshman, who signed a new two-year extension on Thursday, has been absent since the 3-0 victory over Ross County in early August after injuring his Achilles tendon.
Magennis was expected to be absent for a short period after going off at half-time in the 1-0 win over St Johnstone in late September. Hibs have lost four consecutive games in his absence and his impending return was set to give the team another boost. However, Ross has revealed that the player’s issue isn’t clearing up as they’d previously hoped.
“Christian will be involved in the squad – he has trained and played 45 minutes of a bounce game this week. We are really pleased with where he’s at,” Ross revealed ahead of the match Hampden Park.
“Kyle won’t be back available for the forseeable future. Hopefully pre-winter break but at the moment I can’t give a definitive on when he’ll return which is a blow for him and for us.
“It’s not so much a setback, just that there’s been no resolution of the issue he has. It’s frustrating for him and for me because it’s not something that we believed would rule him out for a significant period. But it has done already.
“We’re disappointed because we’ve not lost a [domestic] game he has played in this season.
“That shows the impact he has in the team and how we play. We have to find another way and that’s what we have used this time for - ensuring we do that starting on Sunday.”
On the positive side, the Easter Road head coach insists there are no lingering issues related to the Covid-19 outbreak which saw the postponement of their last two matches against Ross County and Livingston.
“Everybody in terms of covid related issues is back in the building,” he said. “We had a staggered return where some returned earlier in the week.
"We’re now at the stage where any Covid related issues are in the past. It’s now normal.”