Dan Carmichael will be fit for Hibs’ opener

Dan Carmichael is nursing a slight groin injury
Dan Carmichael is nursing a slight groin injury
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Hibs boss Alan Stubbs has reassured Easter Road fans that summer signing Dan Carmichael will be fit for the start of the season despite the former Queen of the South wide man not involved in his new club’s Spanish training camp.

The 25-year-old has been a noticeable absentee in La Manga were, ironically, his old Palmerston Park team-mates have also been based, the player left behind in Edinburgh as he nurses a slight groin problem.

But Stubbs is confident Carmichael will be ready to join his squad when they return to East Mains on Monday morning although he’ll miss the first of three scheduled pre-season friendlies, away to Berwick Rangers tomorrow night.

However, he does expect Carmichael to be involved on Saturday when Hibs cross the Forth to face Dunfermline Athletic at East End Park.

The head coach said: “Dan was very close, he was due to come away with us but his injury has just not cleared up as quickly as he would have liked and we would have liked.

“It’s nothing serious; he has had a scan and it probably needed another four or five days so the trip probably came just a little bit too soon for him. He’s had a slight groin, a niggly irritable one, that’s all. He’s had it over the summer and while we thought it would have cleared up with the rest he’s had, it hasn’t. But it’s made progress over the last ten days. For the sake of another four or five days we felt it would be more beneficial for him to stay behind and work one-one-one with our fitness coach Paul Green and I am hoping that on Monday he will be joining in with the squad.

“He won’t play in Tuesday’s match, but if everything goes okay I presume he’d be involved with squad on the Saturday.”

Martin Boyle and Farid El Alagui, who are both recovering from knee operations, also remained behind, Stubbs again deciding one-to-one attention will prove more beneficial than travelling to the south of Spain where his squad have been put through their paces in temperatures which have soared at times to around 38°C.

Hibs will wrap up their week-long stay with a bounce match against former Easter Road defender Gary Caldwell’s Wigan Athletic tonight, the English League One side having defeated Queens 2-1 on Wednesday, a “game” staged across three 25 minute sessions.

Stubbs intends to give each of his players 45 minutes. “Not just me and my staff but I think the players are looking forward to it.

“They have had the best part of two weeks now where they have a good level of fitness in them. Their attitude has been absolutely first class as I would expect. Working with them day in, day out, they have got on with it, they have applied themselves really well and now is the time where they are looking forward to the games. I’m intending to get everybody 45 minutes for a first game and look to build on it as we go along.”