Hibs facing sweat over key player's fitness ahead of away trip double-header
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The veteran gloveman was replaced by Max Boruc, with the Pole making his league bow after debuting in the second leg of the UEFA Europa Conference League second-round qualifier against Inter Club d’Escaldes of Andorra, after the Hibs No.1 came off worse in a first-half clash with visiting midfielder Scott Pittman.
And with back-up goalkeeper Jojo Wollacott still sidelined for the foreseeable, the Easter Road side will hope Marshall can recover to play a part in the second leg of their Conference League play-off against Aston Villa, with just 20-year-old Boruc and Murray Johnson, 18, as the alternatives.
It’s the second goalie conundrum to hit Hibs inside four weeks. Marshall was injured during the pre-match warm-up ahead of the 6-1 victory over Inter on August 3, with Wollacott starting in his place. But the summer signing lasted just 19 minutes before suffering a thigh injury, with Boruc coming on to play the remainder of the match.
Former Charlton Athletic shot-stopper Wollacott is not expected back until late October but is progressing well in his recovery, but teenager Johnson may have to prolong his stay at Easter Road despite agreeing a season-long loan move to Queen of the South. The Scotland Under-21 cap has played in one Viaplay Cup group match for the League One side, keeping a clean sheet in a 2-0 victory over Elgin City, but was recalled by Hibs following Wollacott’s injury. It was initially an emergency arrangement for seven days to allow for ‘emergency goalkeeper cover’, with Johnson’s parent club holding the option of extending it ‘on a rolling week-by-week basis if necessary’.
But Johnson remains in the Capital and with uncertainty over Marshall’s fitness, the youngster may have to wait for a further taste of first-team action at Palmerston alongside Easter Road colleagues Oscar MacIntyre, who made his debut in the 2-1 victory over Cove Rangers and earned praise from manager Marvin Bartley, and centre-back Kyle McClelland.