Hibs injury boost as on-loan Man Utd player who picked up injury against Celtic gets clean bill of health
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Centre-back Will Fish, who has started the last eight league games for the Easter Road side, was replaced by Matthew Hoppe with 21 minutes remaining of the cinch Premiership clash. The 20-year-old appeared to be walking gingerly in the minutes leading up to his substitution and grimaced as he took a place on the bench for the remainder of the game.
But the Evening News understands that the on-loan Manchester United defender has escaped any injury or lasting damage that could have put his involvement in the final nine games of the league season in jeopardy, and he will be available for selection for the cinch Premiership match at home to Motherwell on Saturday April 1 – the first fixture after the international break.
His clean bill of health will be a particular relief for manager Lee Johnson, given the Capital club are not exactly flush with central defensive options. Rocky Bushiri has been sidelined since January with an ankle injury, Kyle McClelland is ineligible to play for the first team, Darren McGregor has all but hung up his boots to focus on coaching, and under-19 pair Jacob Blaney and Kanayo Megwa are out on loan. Former Hamilton and Aberdeen stopper Mikey Devlin was brought in to bolster the backline in February but Croatian full-back Marijan Čabraja lined up at centre-half against Celtic.
Fish has become a key player for Hibs since stepping into the void left by Ryan Porteous following his move to Watford during the January transfer window and has formed a good partnership with club captain Paul Hanlon at the heart of defence after overcoming a rocky start to this time in the first team. He has proven to be a threat in an attacking sense, with goals against Aberdeen and Kilmarnock, and contributed to Johnson’s side keeping three clean sheets in five matches.
Speaking towards the end of January, the Hibs boss was effusive in his praise for the then teenage defender, saying: “If you wanted to build a centre-half, I’m telling you – Will Fish is what you’d build. He’s quick, he’s strong, and he’s good on the ball. I’m looking forward to watching him between now and the end of the season.”