Hibs star desperate to secure cup progress for mate Hanlon

Paul Hanlon was carried off the pitch at Dumbarton
Paul Hanlon was carried off the pitch at Dumbarton
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Lewis Stevenson has revealed his determination to win a Hampden shot at glory for team-mate Paul Hanlon after the Hibs defender was ruled out of the Easter Road club’s League Cup final against Ross County.

Stevenson admitted he feared the worst as he saw Hanlon hobble off as Alan Stubbs’ side battled in vain to avoid defeat at Dumbarton last Saturday, the former Scotland Under-21 captain later carried to the dressing-room by Kevin Thomson and Liam Fontaine before leaving the ground with his right knee in a brace.

However, a scan later showed the damage wasn’t as serious as first feared although Hanlon will still be out of action for a month with a thigh injury, news which, Stevenson admitted, had left him “gutted” for the 26-year-old, a veteran of more than 260 games for the Capital club.

But, while Hanlon would have missed Sunday’s William Hill Scottish Cup quarter-final tie against Inverness Caley in any case, as will striker Jason Cummings and midfielder Marvin Bartley – all victims of a one-match ban – Stevenson is anxious to see Stubbs’ side march on and give his long-time pal another chance of a winner’s medal. He said: “I was gutted for Paul. I feared the worst when I saw him hobbling off.

“I thought his season was over and that it might be even worse, six or nine months out. Obviously, he’s going to miss some big games over the next month and I’m heartbroken for him having to sit out the League Cup final having been so long at the club. But we are still in the Scottish and hopefully we can get through to the semi-finals and Paul can play a big part at the end of the 

“He’ll be backing us to do well regardless of the fact he won’t be playing this weekend and we’d love to keep the door open for him to have another chance of a Hampden final.”

Meanwhile, Jordon Forster’s season is over after the on-loan Hibs defender broke his jaw as he crashed head first into the perimeter fencing playing for Plymouth Argyle on Tuesday night.

Forster was chasing the ball at high speed as he slid off the pitch and suffered the horrific injury only 18 minutes into the game as the Pilgrims went down 1-0 at Barnet. Play was held up for ten minutes as the 22-year-old, who was playing in only his fifth game for the Pilgrims, received treatment both for the injury and 
concussion, before being taken to hospital.

Plymouth boss Derek Adams said: “It looks like he has a 
broken jaw and as if he will miss the rest of the season.”