Hibs handed injury boost as Paul Hanlon and Demi Mitchell return to training

Hibs have been dealt a much-needed boost as Paul Hanlon and Demetri Mitchell returned to training on Friday and stepped up their return to action.

Club captain Hanlon has been sidelined since undergoing an operation on his knee in the close season and the 32-year-old is yet to kick a ball under new manager Lee Johnson.

Mitchell, meanwhile, suffered an injury in the Easter Road side’s 3-1 Scottish Cup victory over Arbroath in mid-February and although he briefly returned as a substitute in the post-split defeat at Livingston, he suffered a setback and missed the remaining league games.

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Both players took part in non-contact training on Friday, completing three of four sessions at the Hibernian Training Centre ahead of Sunday’s friendly against Norwich City at Easter Road.

Neither player will be involved against the Canaries but should be able to step up their involvement as they target a return to first-team action.

Mitchell’s return should help alleviate some of the problems at left-back while Marijan Čabraja awaits his work permit and Lewis Stevenson shakes off a knock picked up against Bonnyrigg Rose.

Midfielder Josh Campbell filled in at left-back in the second half of the match against Morton after Chris Cadden had assumed the role in the opening 45 with Lewis Miller on the right of a back four.

The Evening News understands that the long-term plan is to play Mitchell in a more attacking position rather than at full-back, with manager Lee Johnson speaking highly of the former Manchester United youngster’s versatility and pace, mentioning him as a possible option at left-back, left-wingback, and on the right of midfield.

Paul Hanlon and Demi Mitchell (inset) have returned to non-contact training as the pair stepped up their return to action