Kevin Nisbet 'has something to prove' and will be fun to watch, says Easter Road colleague

Chris Cadden insists the return of Kevin Nisbet to full fitness will be like a new signing for Hibs – but doesn’t want to pile too much pressure on the striker.

The Scotland striker is expected to make his long-awaited return to action against Middlesbrough in Saturday’s mid-season friendly clash and has been tipped to play a role in the cinch Premiership trip to Ibrox to face Rangers on December 15 when league football resumes.

Speaking as Hibs continued their preparations for the visit of Michael Carrick’s side, Cadden outlined why Nisbet can reinvigorate a Hibs side that has struggled for form and lost six of its last seven matches. The 3-0 victory over St Mirren was something out an outlier, with Hibs drawing a blank in two of their last three matches.

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“Losing Martin Boyle was obviously massive but losing Nizzy for that period of time has been huge. I’ve been so impressed with him ever since I came here; how good he is as a player, his goal-scoring ability, and how he trains,” the defender explained.

Kevin Nisbet is expected to make his return to action against Middlesbrough

“His goals are massive, but so is his hold-up play and things like that. He’s a great, great player and getting him back will be brilliant. He loves football and he loves scoring goals."

Nisbet has been eased back into training and has looked sharp, to the extent that Easter Road boss Lee Johnson admitted he was toying with the idea of bringing the forward back for the last couple of games before the World Cup break – and Cadden reckons the 25-year-old may feel he has something to prove.

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“He’s looked absolutely brilliant since coming back; it’s like he’s never been away. It’s going to take him a bit of time and we don’t want to put him under too much pressure, because he’s coming back from a long-term knee injury, but he’s going to be like a new signing for us, I think, because of how good he is.

"This break is coming at a good time for him as well, because he’s back in training and he can get some minutes in his legs in the friendlies we’ve got. He’s desperate to come back and a Nizzy who is desperate to play and who has something to prove will be fun to watch.”