Hibs goalkeeper Ofir Marciano faces another month on the sidelines as he recovers from surgery to a finger injury, boss Neil Lennon has revealed.
Marciano picked up the injury at the start of last month and was forced to pull out of Israel’s squad as they prepared to play Argentina in the South Americans’ final World Cup warm-up match only for it to be cancelled following Palestinian protests after the game was switched from Haifa to Jerusalem. The 28-year-old remained in his homeland as he began his recuperation following his operation, absent as Lennon’s squad reported back for pre-season training but is now back in Edinburgh as his rehabilitation continues. Marciano missed all three of Hibs’ friendlies and was an onlooker again as the Capital outfit defeated NSI Runavik of the Faroe Islands 6-1 in the home leg of their Europa League first qualifying round tie on Thursday night, a result which effectively secured progress to face Greek club Asteras Tripolis.
However, Marciano looks set to sit out both legs of the second qualfiying round with Lennon saying: “Ofir has to get a pin out eventually so we are probably looking at another four weeks.” In Maraciano’s absence, Lennon has brought in Hungarian international goalkeeper Adam Bogdan on a season-long loan from Liverpool having been left with only Ross Laidlaw and teenager Paddy Martin as Polish youngster Kevin Dabrowski was also out.
Bogdan, Laidlaw and Martin were all registered with UEFA for the Runavik matches, Lennon saying: “Kevin had a bit of a groin problem. He’s training again and isn’t too far away, but we needed a third goalkeeper.”
Meanwhile, Lennon revealed he’d taken Darren McGregor off on Thursday night to prevent the risk of him picking up a second yellow card after the defender was booked.
He said: “With Darren on a yellow, we didn’t want to lose any player at this stage of the ompetition and we didn’t want to take any risks with the advantage we had at the time.”