Dylan McGeouch will have the final say on whether he’ll play in Saturday’s crunch Premiership clash with Aberdeen wearing a protective face mask.
The Hibs midfielder suffered a fracture below his eye against Celtic on April 23, but he managed to complete the full 90 minutes as Neil Lennon’s side pulled off a 2-1 win which delayed the Premiership champions’ title party.
McGeouch, pictured below, was sent to hospital immediately after the match for an X-ray, which revealed the 25-year-old had suffered a small break and, although it wasn’t rated as being too serious, he travelled to the West Midlands to see a specialist on Tuesday of last week to be measured for a “bespoke” mask. However, as it had to be manufactured abroad, the mask didn’t arrive until the day before Hibs’ match with Kilmarnock last weekend, Lennon revealing it was too much of a risk to ask him to play in the 5-3 victory which keeps the Capital side in the hunt for a second-place finish.
Head coach Lennon will want McGeouch – named both the fans’ and his team-mates’ player of the year last weekend – available for the trip to Pittodrie, admitting Hibs can’t afford to lose any more ground on Derek McInnes’ side, who currently lead them by three points.
While Hibs are understood to be quietly confident of having McGeouch in the starting line-up, they won’t allow the player to take any risks, while he himself will have to feel comfortable in taking to the pitch wearing the mask in what promises to be a hard-fought game.
Hibs will end their season by playing Hearts in the final Edinburgh derby of the season next Wednesday before taking on Rangers, who host Kilmarnock this weekend, at Easter Road on Sunday, May 13, while the Dons take on both sides of the Old Firm in their final two fixtures, having failed to take a single point from either side this season.
As such, Lennon insists there remains plenty of potential for a few twists and turns over the final three games of the season. He said: “Saturday is a big game, it was always going to be.
“You look at the fixture list and think ‘that’s a real toughie’.
“Over the last couple of years, Derek McInnes has got it done and Pittodrie is a tough place because they are good at home.
“But we’ve set ourselves up nicely. We’ve put ourselves in a great position with a right good chance. We have to play each other, we’ve won our home games which is great, but now we have two tough away matche,s then Rangers.
“We don’t want to lose ground on Aberdeen, so it’s important we try to get something at Pittodrie. That’s a big ask, but not insurmountable.”