Hibs boss Alan Stubbs today admitted he fears the worst for Danny Handling after the midfielder was stretchered off during the Easter Road club’s 3-0 win over Berwick Rangers.
The 21-year-old crumpled to the turf after only 20 minutes at Shielfield Park in last night’s friendly and was in clear distress as he was treated by physio John Porteous, the initial diagnosis being a serious knee injury.
“It’ doesn’t look too good,” Stubbs conceded. “We will probably know more when we assess it better, but it doesn’t look too good – there’s every chance it’s a serious one.
“There isn’t a prognosis. I think we will assess it over the next 24 hours and the position will become clear. I think he felt it just before.
“Obviously we are disappointed for Danny – we hope he has a speedy recovery.”
Other than Handling’s injury, Stubbs was satisfied with his team’s performance, skipper David Gray opening the scoring before Jason Cummings and Scott Allan wrapped up the victory with second-half strikes.
He said: “Last night was another step in the right direction. I thought we were good all over, there were little bits where I’d like us to be a little bit more focused and concentrated, but over all really happy.”
Again, Allan ran the show, Stubbs reassuring fans there was nothing untoward in him coming off for the final seven minutes, leaving his team-mates a man short as all substitutes had been used.
The head coach said: “Scotty is Scotty. He is quality and we have to make sure we keep getting the best out of him and when he is on the ball, he is a joy to watch.
“He felt a little bit stiff and tight and we didn’t want to take any chances.”
Keith Watson, who is hopeful of landing a new contract with Hibs, didn’t feature again having missed the bounce game against Wigan, which wrapped up the club’s seven-day training camp in La Manga, while new signing James Keatings was also absent once more.
Stubbs said: “Keith just has as tight hamstring, as does James. We’ve sent James for a scan today but it’s similar, hopefully nothing that’s going to keep him out for too long.”
The search for further new faces continues, Stubbs revealing: “We have a couple of things on the go hopefully we can get something across the line over the next week or so and that’s where we are at this moment in time.”