Hibs give team news v St Johnstone as ‘virtually hanging out’ eye injury update given
Nick Montgomery has been speaking about Hibs team news including an update on Christian Doidge ahead of facing St Johnstone
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Christian Doidge is fit to feature for Hibs against St Johnstone at Easter Road – despite being left with his eye ‘virtually hanging out’, according to head coach Nick Montgomery. Elie Youan has also shrugged off an injury picked up in last weekend’s 2-2 draw at Rugby Park, Montgomery’s first game as boss.
Speaking about Doidge’s injury, sustained just before half-time in Ayrshire, Montgomery said: “His eye was virtually hanging out. He cut the top and bottom of his eye. To be honest, I didn’t realise at the time but it was a pretty horrific injury. Looking back at VAR, I don’t think the lad meant to do it, but it was a UFC move and his eye was completely split open.
“At half-time, I’ve looked at the club doctor and he just shook his head. The stitching of the two cuts took about 25 minutes, so that meant there was no way we could put him back on for the second half.
“Doidgey is massively important for the team, he’s a real foil for the pace we’ve got out wide and he’s a real competitor in the box, you saw that in his goal against Aberdeen. It’s good to have him back.
“We’ve limited any contact this week to make sure his eye didn’t split open again and get infected, which is always a risk. But he’s raring to go tomorrow and I’ll make a decision whether to start him.
“Every day is another day for it to heal, and fortunately he’s not been head-butted this week! He hasn’t needed a mask. There’s no fracture but he’ll have some sort of padding. I don’t know how you cover your eye, though, unless he plays with one eye!”
Asked about the potential for changes for his second game at the helm, Montgomery said: “I don’t know, I’ll decide by tomorrow. But making changes? Yeah, that’s why we have a squad. Anyone who is a serious risk, I won’t risk because we have three games this week. But if they’re good to go, they’re good to go. I’ll leave it to the last minute to make a decision.
“Everyone’s very competitive and fighting for places. We’ve got three games in a week but that’s why we love football, ‘game, game, game’ and not much training. Everybody’s put their hand up and is fighting for places.”
Paul Hanlon could challenge for a starting berth in place of Rocky Bushiri, while Jair Tavares is back in the frame for a starting place - and is competing with Youan for a slot.