Hibs not rushing Kevin Nisbet back to action - but striker on course for training return

Lee Johnson has stressed the importance of not rushing Kevin Nisbet back to action – but the Hibs striker remains on course to gradually rejoin training next month.

The 25-year-old suffered a cruciate ligament injury during a goalless draw with Celtic in February but has been working hard on a comeback, and was recently out on the training pitch doing shooting drills.

“It was all very controlled when he was out banging balls into the net. We are acting with a level of precaution for him but as every box gets ticked we can start progressing,” Johnson explained.

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"Soon he'll be working individually with the coaches, and hopefully getting a bit more elasticity through the joint and the muscles.

"Once we tick those boxes with no set-backs he can be drip-fed into first-team training. But it'll be after the international break.”

Johnson is eager to have Nisbet back in the squad as quickly as possible but won’t rush the player back.

"The target is to get him back as quickly as possible but it's got to be right. The re-occurrence rate does change dramatically from nine months to twelve months,” he added.

"I'm not saying you can't do things in those three months but you cannot expect a player with an ACL to be the same player he was nine months before.

Kevin Nisbet has been sidelined for Hibs since February

"A year on they might be, and 18 months on they could potentially be even better because of the work they've done in the gym, working their upper bodies.

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"We've got to give him time and space to come back properly.”