'Everyone wants him back' - Hibs boss offers positive time-frame updates on Chris Cadden and Adam Le Fondre

Key Hibs defender could return to pitch within two months says Easter Road boss
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Nick Montgomery’s ‘pre-season’ winter camp in Dubai has been an exceptionally fruitful trip, confirms the Hibs boss, and has not only shown signs of progression for the regular XI, but has brought the long-term injured stars back into the fold with their returns set for the not too distant future. 

Hibs have been without Jake Doyle-Hayes, Chris Cadden, Harry McKirdy and Adam Le Fondre for several months and after McKirdy was brought on in the final minutes against Motherwell earlier this year, Monty has confirmed fans may not have to wait too long to see the other favourites. 

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He has, however, remained careful to avoid offering false hope as the Easter Road crowd long to see fan favourites Cadden, Doyle-Hayes and Le Fondre return. 

Doyle-Hayes underwent ankle surgery in the autumn and, speaking to Edinburgh News, the Hibs boss said of the Irish 25-year-old: “We’re still integrating him into training - he is progressing well but we can’t really put a time frame on that. 

As for 27-year-old right-back Chris Cadden, Montgomery has praised how excited both fans and the squad are that it could be within the next two months we see the return of the Motherwell academy alumnus. 

Adam Le Fondre ahead of Hibs vs Dundee in SeptemberAdam Le Fondre ahead of Hibs vs Dundee in September
Adam Le Fondre ahead of Hibs vs Dundee in September

“Everyone wants him back and he is working super hard to get in a position where he is now integrating back into team training. We have to be cautious with the boys that have been out for a while but we’re hoping in the next six-to-eight weeks for Cadden. Getting back into training is one thing, it's getting that final preparation to getting them back available that we have to be really careful with as you have set-backs. 

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“Adam Le Fondre is probably back earlier than what we expected”, Monty then added. “He has been back into team training this week with most of the sessions. 

23-year-old midfielder Josh Campbell is another on the sidelines with Montgomery keeping cautious to avoid being too specific with a return date. “Josh is probably four to eight weeks away. We left him back at home because the ankle injury was acute and he was in an air boot. 

“But he’s a tough lad and I expect him to be back fighting fit probably in a couple of weeks. The main positive was he didn’t need an operation, there was nothing needed doing other than taking the weight off it and putting it in an air boot. “I can’t really put a timeframe on it but it’ll be four to 12 weeks depending on how it goes. It’ll be nice to get Josh back.

Montgomery, who was of course absent for the pre-season training sessions, was asked whether he believed this latest training camp, coupled with the numerous injury concerns that have plagued the side, is set to task his squad with drastic changes to their style of play.

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This was retorted, however, with the 42-year-old instead keen to provide compliments aplenty to players who had previously seen little of the pitch under the likes of Lee Johnson.

“In terms of the identity of the team and the way that we play, that’s not going to change”, Monty confirmed. In terms of the players that we have, ultimately if we don’t have a big squad and you don't have impact off the bench, then it is very hard to play at high intensity for 90 minutes. That is where we were short in the first part of the season.

“Look at Jair Tavares, the kid was not playing for 14 months, completely frozen out of the squad. He has come back in and I have been relying on him for 90 minutes week in, week out. Elie Youan, Martin Boyle, Dylan Vente.. we’ve had Adam Le Fondre out injured, and that’s left us light.

“We’ve had a couple of kids coming in, Josh Landers and Rudi Molotnikov, it’s a big ask for them to come in and make an impact at this level when they are coming in from Under 18s football. What I am definitely hoping is that we can bring a couple of players in and get a couple of players back fit and pushing for places.

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"Look over the first part of the season, there has been quite a few games when we were in a winning position and we concede late goals and drew because we did not have the bodies or the energy to put on when we needed it to finish games off.

“I am hoping to see a more energetic team with more strength in depth and players that come off the bench and make an impact. That is what I am hoping for in the second part of the season.  

“We take each game as it comes. Of course we want to finish in that top five positions. That’s not changed.

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