Hibs’ Ryan McGivern in fitness race

Ryan McGivern. Picture: Ian Rutherford
Ryan McGivern. Picture: Ian Rutherford
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Hibs boss Pat Fenlon today admitted Northern Ireland defender Ryan McGivern is facing a race against time to be fit for Sunday’s fifth and final Edinburgh derby of the season.

The on-loan Manchester City star suffered a leg injury early in the match with Kilmarnock but carried on playing after treatment, supplying the pass for Alex Harris to open the scoring. However, McGivern was forced to limp off just a minute prior to that goal being cancelled out by a Kris Boyd strike before the match was abandoned after Rugby Park fan James Haswell collapsed with a suspected heart attack, the 48-year-old later dying in hospital.

McGivern was assessed by the club’s physios yesterday and will receive further treatment from today onwards but Fenlon revealed the 23-year-old was lucky not to have suffered 
serious injury.

He said: “When you look at the video he has planted his heel, it’s given way and his leg has buckled. He could have done some real serious damage and he’s lucky that’s not the case.

“Ryan tried to play on but he said he felt a little bit unstable so it was important he come off because he could have done more damage.”

As for McGivern’s chances of facing Hearts at Tynecastle this weekend, Fenlon said: “We will look at him again today but it’s a bit early to say. There’s a bit of swelling but we do not think he has done any major damage,

“Hopefully he will be okay but we’ll assess him over the next couple of days and see where he is. We won’t, though, be taking any risks.”

Meanwhile, Hibs Under-20 side will wrap up their season with a double header against League and Cup winners Celtic. The first leg takes place at Firhill tonight (kick-off 7pm) and the return match will be staged at Easter Road on Thursday when admission will be free for the 7pm start.

Tonight’s game should see 19-year-old Bradley Donaldson, who had been on the verge of a first team debut, return to action after eight weeks out having suffered knee ligament damage. James McDonaugh, head of academy coaching, said: “Brad has been out for longer than we originally expected but he has worked hard on his rehab and is ready to come back.”