James Keatings poised for Hibs debut

James Keatings has been suffering from a hamstring injury. Pic: Neil Hanna
James Keatings has been suffering from a hamstring injury. Pic: Neil Hanna
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Summer signing James Keatings is in contention to finally make his Hibs debut this week.

The striker joined from city rivals Hearts at the start of June but has endured a frustrating start to his Easter Road career.

A hamstring injury suffered on the club’s pre-season training trip to La Manga last month ruled the 23-year-old out of each of his new side’s friendlies and he has subsequently sat out every competitive match so far.

However, after returning to training last week, Keatings has a chance of featuring in the League Cup tie at home to Stranraer tomorrow. Failing that, he is expected to be in the squad for the Championship clash with Raith Rovers at Easter Road on Saturday.

“Keatings is close,” head coach Alan Stubbs told the Evening News. “He’s been 
stepping up his training in the last few days and he’s now started training with the team. Now that he’s back with the rest of the squad he’s got a chance of being in the team. He may be involved against Stranraer, but, if not, all being well, he 
will definitely be involved on Saturday.”

Defender Jordon Forster is also closing in on a return to action, which would leave Farid El Alagui, who is expected to be available next month after knee surgery, as the only notable 

“Jordon’s a couple of days away from joining the rest of the group, so we’re getting there injury-wise,” said Stubbs.

The head coach is mulling over whether or not to make changes from the side that lost 1-0 to Rangers on Sunday, although he is adamant that whoever starts against League 1 side Stranraer, it will be a strong Hibs team.

“We’ve got no fringe players here – we just have a squad,” said Stubbs. “We’re seeing how the boys are after Ibrox and weighing up what changes – if any – we’re going to make. We’ll give Stranraer the utmost respect and we’ll look to get a result.”