Hibs were given a massive boost today when boss Alan Stubbs revealed striker Farid El Alagui could be fit for the first of the Easter Road club’s play-off games.
And there was further good news for the head coach as he learned the ankle injury suffered by defender Jordon Forster in the 3-0 win over Falkirk which clinched second place in the Championship for the Capital oufit wasn’t as serious as initially feared, Stubbs disclosing he could be back for the play-off final should Hibs make it.
El Alagui, who suffered a serious knee injury while at Brentford, missed last weekend’s victory against his old club having suffered a knock on the knee which caused swelling and a degree of concern.
However, Stubbs today told the Evening News: “Farid has been to see the specialist. He’s had the consultation and we are hopeful he might be able to resume training on Monday. We don’t know how it is going to react when he starts training but, if all is well, then hopefully he will be ready for the play-off games.”
Forster looked in serious trouble as he landed awkwardly following an aerial challenge with Falkirk defender Liam Dick only a minute into the second half of the game, the 21-year-old being stretchered to the dressing-room.
But, again, Stubbs was able to offer more positive news, saying: “Jordon might be touch-and-go for the first play-off games but hopefully if we manage to come through them then there’s a good chance he’ll be available for the final round of games.”
Forster had an x-ray and then a scan to complete the diagnosis, the two procedures, Stubbs insisted, being a measure of the thoroughness of the examination. He said: “There is some ligament damage which is good news considering what it could have been. There are no breaks or cracks. The x-ray wasn’t clear because of the swelling but the scan told us exactly what we needed to know. We made sure everything was taken into consideration. The last thing we’d have wanted was to get started treating him and then find a crack. It was a case of being thorough.”
The downside, however, for Stubbs’ was the confirmation that wideman Martin Boyle had torn his medial ligament in a challenge with former Hibs midfielder Tom Taiwo, the on-loan Dundee player having been left “devastated” by the injury which has ended his season and ruled him out of the play-offs. Stubbs insisted Hibs will work closely with Dundee to ensure the former Montrose player, who is out of contract at Dens Park at the end of the season, gets the best of treatment.
He said: “It’s bad news – obviously worse than we first thought. We’ll let him speak to the specialist and see what the next course of action will be. We have made Dundee aware, we’ve spoken to their medical staff and there will be a discussion between the clubs as to how to progress it. The important thing is he gets his injury sorted out and is back playing sooner rather than later.”