Hibs braced for Rocky Bushiri injury update as club sweats over defensive options for Aberdeen clash

Hibs should learn today the extent of the injury suffered by defender Rocky Bushiri in the latter stages of Sunday’s Scottish Cup fourth-round defeat by rivals Hearts.

The Belgian stopper was rushed to hospital after the final whistle, having been stretchered off the field of play and given oxygen after coming off worse in a challenge on the West Stand touchline deep into injury time. Speaking afterwards, Hibs manager Lee Johnson voiced his fears that the 23-year-old had broken his leg. “Touch wood he hasn’t, but it looks like a bad one,” he added.

Easter Road chiefs will find out the nature of the injury later today but even if the outcome is as positive as they hope, Hibs could face a selection crisis at the heart of defence for Saturday’s cinch Premiership clash with Aberdeen.

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Bushiri will almost certainly be ruled out while Ryan Porteous, who has featured in 26 of Hibs’ 27 competitive fixtures so far this season, could depart the club. The Scotland internationalist is out of contract in the summer and has been linked with Blackburn Rovers, Toulouse, Udinese, and Watford in recent weeks after turning down the offer of a bumper new deal at Easter Road, and chief executive Ben Kensell has already suggested that a January exit would be beneficial for all parties.

Rocky Bushiri suffered an injury during the Scottish Cup defeat by Hearts

And with club captain Paul Hanlon not 100 per cent fit, there is a chance Johnson could be struggling for available defenders. The 33-year-old made a brief appearance against Hearts as a late substitute but if Porteous leaves and Bushiri is ruled out as expected, Will Fish could be the only fully-fit first-team centre-back available – and the on-loan Manchester United man has started just two games.

Hibs are expected to do more business in the transfer market with Bailey Wright, who signed for Johnson at Bristol City and later played under him at Sunderland, linked with a move to the Capital but there is interest from Aberdeen and Derby County as well.

Johnson said last week when quizzed about his recruitment plans: “We are looking for players who can hit the ground running. We need instant impact, not six to eight weeks. You don’t want to spend six to eight weeks trying to get someone fit, and it’s not an easy window to get that.”