Christian Doidge back in training but Hibs striker could miss start of season
Hibs head coach Jack Ross is braced for starting the new season without the services of striker Christian Doidge.
The Welshman only just returned to training on Monday after battling Covid-19, missing the pre-season training camp in the north of England as well as the friendly matches against Dunfermline Athletic, Accrington Stanley, and Stoke City.
Doidge will also play no part in the pre-season friendly against Arsenal on Tuesday night.
While a lot depends on the progress made by the former Forest Green Rovers forward following his return to East Mains, Hibs may be without the 28-year-old for the Europa Conference League opener against either Mons Calpe of Gibraltar or Andorran outfit FC Santa Coloma.
“We had a bit of Covid disruption that left us without Josh Doig, Melker Hallberg, and Christian Doidge and Christian's only just returned to the group today,” Ross said ahead of the Gunners match.
"It’s part of the challenge as it always is. Ideally in pre-season you would want everyone fit and available through the whole period but we’ve been a little bit disrupted by that, and by minor injuries as well.
"We had a combination of people, some of whom had the virus and others who had to complete self-isolation but Christian’s been the one most affected.
"He only just returned to the training ground on Monday.
"He's been assessed by our medical staff and it might be that, depending on his progress this week, it will be touch and go whether he’ll be fit for the start of the competitive season, particularly the European game.
"He could make good progress over the next couple of days and be fully available; he’s naturally in good condition and worked hard in the close season but he has missed out on a decent chunk of pre-season as well.”
Doig returned to the starting line-up against Stoke City and Ross revealed the teenager had found it hard-going after his own experience with Covid.
“We’re just trying to ease him back in. Stoke was his first minutes on the pitch and he struggled a little bit so we’ll see how he is ahead of the Arsenal game.
"We’ve got to make sure they’re both fit and healthy to play.”