Hibs boss delivers injury update on key men as Rangers clash looms

A broken ankle, concussion protocols and good news for Monty
At the centre of it all - Boyle is on his way back from a sickening head knock.At the centre of it all - Boyle is on his way back from a sickening head knock.
At the centre of it all - Boyle is on his way back from a sickening head knock.

Martin Boyle should be fit to face Rangers at Ibrox as Hibs aim to take the race for a top-six spot right to the wire. And there’s further good news on the injury front for Nick Montgomery, who expects Josh Campbell to take a major step on the road to recovery from a broken ankle when the first team squad return to training on Monday.

Boyle suffered a concussion in a sickening clash of heads with defender John Souttar in the 2-0 home loss to Rangers just under a fortnight ago, the Socceroos star taken straight to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary and checked for potentially serious neck injuries before being allowed home to recover. Concussion protocols dictate that a player must be completely symptom free before being allowed to train.

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Montgomery says the talismanic winger is on track to make his comeback against Souttar and co. in Govan next weekend, revealing: “Martin is feeling a lot better. Most important is we've got Martin back in and we’ve managed him over a couple of days, and hopefully by next week we can get him back into full training.

“He doesn't need a bounce game to get him ready. He's had lots of games and lots of travel with the national team this year, so if anybody is going to benefit from a break it will be Martin. We're just looking forward to getting him back into training once he's been cleared of everything.”

Hibs currently occupy a place just inside the top six, sitting two points clear of Dundee. But the Dark Blues have a game in hand following last weekend’s late postponement of their home match against Rangers. Monty’s men have just three games to play before the split, with next weekend’s trip to Glasgow followed by St Johnstone at home and Motherwell away, while Dundee face St Johnstone (A), Motherwell (H), Rangers (H) and Aberdeen (A).

Attacking midfielder Campbell is expected to be in contention for those crucial games after spending three months sidelined by a broken ankle and associated knee damage. The 23-year-old homegrown talent suffered the injury in a freak collision with team-mate Dylan Levitt in December’s 1-0 home loss to Hearts.

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Montgomery revealed: “Josh will be back in full training next week. I think he'll need a bounce game but in terms of contact I think he'll get back into full contact next week.

“That will hopefully be us getting Josh back in the next couple of weeks which will be a big boost. It was a nasty one - it was his knee and his ankle at the same time - but Josh is a tough kid and has worked really hard to get himself back into training. Hopefully he passes the next few things he's doing and will be in full training next week.”

The Hibs players not away on international duty will get extra time off over the next couple of days, following a light session yesterday. But already thoughts are turning to the challenge of picking up a result at Ibrox.

“They get the weekend off now - and start again on Monday for full preparation for the Rangers game,” said Montgomery, the former Central Coast boss adding: “We're always preparing for the next game. Once we get all the boys back from international duty and everyone back in next week we'll be preparing as normal for the game.”

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The manager hopes to keep tabs on his players taking part in international games, although he might find it difficult to find live coverage of Myziane Maolida – arguably the most impactful signing of the January window – turning out for Comoros against Uganda tonight and Angola on Monday night, Monty explaining: “It will depend on finding out how to watch the games. I'll try and find what channel that (Comoros) is on. I'll try to watch some of the international games over the weekend and just rest up and prepare for next weekend.”