Neil Lennon explained that Hibs are managing Dylan McGeouch back to fitness gradually because they will need him operating at full pelt when fellow midfielder John McGinn is taken out of the equation to have his own injury issue addressed
McGeouch has been plagued by a niggling hamstring problem this season and hasn’t featured for the first team since the Irn-Bru Cup defeat at home to St Mirren four-and-a-half weeks ago.
Although he could have been included in the squad for last Saturday’s trip to Ayr United, Hibs’ medical staff have decided he will benefit from a period of rest from first-team involvement in order to fully allow the problem to dissipate. McGeouch came through the full 90 minutes of yesterday’s development league match against Kilmarnock, but there is a reluctance to rush him back at a time when Scotland international McGinn is likely to require some time on the sidelines to have a minor ankle problem resolved.
“Dylan could be in contention for the Falkirk game at the weekend but we don’t want to rush him back because, by his own admission, he probably came back too soon the last time and he broke down after a couple of games,” he told the Evening News. “We want to try and avoid that, especially with John’s situation, which might deteriorate as the weeks go on.”
Lennon had been asked about McGeouch’s injury problems by a shareholder during the question and answer session at Monday night’s annual general meeting.
He explained: “This season he’s had a problem at the top of his hamstring, almost on the buttock. It’s almost like a cramp-type feeling. He came back after the first injury but wasn’t really going at 100 per cent. Then, after a couple of games, when he was doing some sprints in training, he pulled up again. We decided to take him right out of it and he’s done some extensive work with Nathan [Ring] and the sports science team.
“We want him playing at full speed on a consistent basis, over a period of months. To do that, we need to get him doing two or three really hard weeks of work to really see if the problem is gone and if it’s holding up okay so that we can get the best out of him.
“John’s problem’s going to need addressed in the next few weeks. We’ll nurse John through but it’s going to come to the point where it needs sorting out. That’s when, hopefully, Dylan will be 100 per cent fit and ready to play not just two or three games, but eight, ten, 12 in a row, because we’re going to need him through that tough December, January, February period.”