Adam Owen gives update on Lee Johnson, Mykola Kukharevych, and Elias Melkersen ahead of Dundee United clash

Hibs manager Lee Johnson is hopeful of attending Saturday’s match against Dundee United at Tannadice ‘in some capacity’ as he continues his recovery from surgery.

The Easter Road boss is progressing well after an operation to remove his gallbladder last week and has returned to the club’s Ormiston training base but will prioritise his return to full fitness.

However, it may be a moot point, with all SPFL matches this weekend expected to be postponed following the death of the Queen on Thursday night.

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Speaking on Thursday afternoon, Owen gave an update on Johnson’s condition.

“He’s been great. He’s popped in the last few days and is progressing well. It’s such a nasty thing to go through so he’s taking it day by day and it just depends how he’s feeling.

“He’s hoping to be at the game in some capacity, it just depends on how he reacts. He’s on the phone and very involved. He was watching last week’s game at home which gave us a chance to interact and see what he’s saying and make sure we’re acting on what he sees.

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“What he saw was pretty similar to us. You do tend to see a different game sitting in the stand but the information coming to us helped secure what we were seeing in the dug out too.

“He wants to be in amongst it straight away. It’s important he recovers first. We can pick up the pieces between us all.

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Lee Johnson, right, with his coaching staff

“There’s myself, Jamie [McAllister], Dave [Gray] and Stuart [Garden] the goalie coach. We are in a good place after last week and training has been really good.”

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The game might come too soon for forward Elias Melkersen, who is awaiting the green light to resume playing after suffering a concussion during the 1-0 defeat by St Mirren.

The 19-year-old missed last weekend’s victory over Kilmarnock and while the Easter Road coaching staff were hopeful of having the Norwegian attacker available, Owen admitted it might come too soon for him as the club looks to build on last weekend’s win.

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Owen said: “Melks is progressing but Saturday might be a bit too soon for him. He has to go through the protocols which is a big part of it.

“The first two away games have been a bit of a drop-off from the performance on the opening day.

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“It’s about always building. It’s difficult because based on where we were last year, it takes time.

"We need to make sure we can impose what the manager wants from a tactical point of view and a training point of view into the players.

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Meanwhile, Hibs are hopeful of welcoming Ukrainian forward Mykola Kukharevych to the club next week, with the 21-year-old ESTAC Troyes striker having waited a week for his paperwork to go through before leaving Belgium, where he was on loan at OH Leuven, and travelling to Scotland.

Owen continued: "He's gone through the testing protocols he needs to do. We were hopeful he was going to be in by the end of this week but he's due in towards the middle of next week, if not earlier.

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"That'll be another positive in terms of another younger player with hunger and desire to develop himself.

"I think he'll be another great addition to the squad."