Hibs boss Neil Lennon is poised to move for a new goalkeeper if, as feared, Ofir Marciano has suffered a cracked rib.
The Israeli was taken to hospital after colliding with team-mate Liam Fontaine only 21 minutes into the 8-1 Scottish Cup win over Bonnyrigg Rose.
Marciano received treatment on the pitch at Tynecastle and was clearly in pain as he was supported by club doctor Duncan Reid as he slowly walked towards the tunnel.
Paramedics were called to the away dressing room before the 27-year-old, who had been making his return to action following a six-week absence after knee surgery, was shortly thereafter taken to hospital for further assessment.
“Ofir took a boot or a knee in his back around the kidney area,” revealed Lennon. “We’re waiting to hear how he is but I’m hoping it’s not too bad otherwise we will be short of a goalkeeper as my third choice has a dislocated thumb.”
Although yet to be announced by the Capital club, it is understood that was a reference to 18-year-old Pole Maciej Dabrowski, the Lech Poznan youngster having impressed during a trial period before joining Hibs development squad.
Combined with the departure of Finnish Under-21 goalkeeper Otso Virtanen at the beginning of the month, those freak injuries have left Lennon with only Ross Laidlaw, who replaced Marciano in the 8-1 win, and another development squad goalie Patrick Martin at his disposal should his No 1 choice be ruled out for another lengthy spell.
If that were to prove to be the case, admitted Lennon, signing another goalkeeper, possibly on loan, during this transfer window would become a priority.
Marciano’s injury apart, Lennon was delighted with his side’s performance as they overcame a potentially tricky tie against the East Super League champions, goals from Andrew Shinnie, James Keatings and Chris Humphrey within the opening 24 minutes all but ended the game as a contest, although a dubious Dean Hoskins penalty just before half-time gave Bonnyrigg a ray of hope.
Admitting his side had “got a bit sloppy” in that period, Lennon used the break to offer them “a few words” and was rewarded with second half two strikes from Jason Cummings and further goals from Lewis Stevenson, Keatings and Jordon Forster.
Lennon said: “We went strong as we wanted to give Bonnyrigg the respect. I was very pleased with the way we approached the game. We got a bit sloppy but we had a few words and we were really good in the second half.
“Eight goals will give the players a bit of confidence and there were some like Jordon and John McGinn who needed the run out.
“Promotion is our priority to we can forget about the cup for a wee while now and concentrate on the league. This is not an easy division to get out of.”