Hibs were today sweating over the fitness of James Keatings having sent the striker for a scan after he appeared to suffer a recurrence of the hamstring problem which has dogged him for the past two months.
Keatings pulled up 20 minutes from the end of the Easter Road outfit’s 3-0 win over Alloa Athletic to be replaced by Martin Boyle, his frustration clear as he beat the turf with his fists.
Boss Alan Stubbs expressed the hope in his post-match press conference that the injury was “nothing too serious,” but the 23-year-old was nevertheless yesterday sent for a scan the results of which will be eagerly awaited by the club’s medical team.
Snapped up by Stubbs after surprisingly being released by Capital rivals Hearts at the end of last season, former Celtic and Hamilton hitman Keatings initially suffered the injury during Hibs’ pre-season training camp in La Manga when he was said to have been looking “sharp and exciting.”
As a result he was forced to sit out the bounce game against Wigan Athletic which brought their week-long stay in the Spanish resort to a close.
Keatings also missed all three of Hibs pre-season friendlies and had a recurrence of the problem just before the first game of the season, the Petrofact Training Cup defeat by Rangers.
After missing the League Cup tie against Montrose and the opening Championship game at Dumbarton he was again nearing full fitness only to once more be left frustrated as he “stretched the scar tissue” on the injury which put him out for Hibs’ next two matches. He finally made his debut, a cameo appearance in the League Cup victory over Stranraer on August 26 and celebrated his first start by scoring the opening goal in a 2-0 win against Raith Rovers three days later.
Convinced his problems were all behind him he told the Evening News in the build-up to Saturday’s game he was now looking forward to making up for lost time only to find himself limping off again and uncertain as to how long he might be sidelined this time.