Kevin Nisbet injury latest as Hibs boss Lee Johnson gives cautious update on striker's comeback

Hibs manager Lee Johnson is hopeful of having striker Kevin Nisbet back in contention ahead of schedule.

The Scotland internationalist sustained an injury during the goalless draw with Celtic at Easter Road in February and was later found to have damaged his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).

With the national team still chasing qualification for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar in November, the 25-year-old harboured hopes of returning to fitness in time to be selected for the squad had they qualified.

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Most ACL injuries take between six and nine months to heal, and with Nisbet learning the extent of his injury in early March, he could have been looking at a return to action in December.

But Johnson has, cautiously, suggested that the forward could be back by the end of October.

“We have to be careful with timescales. But best case scenario – he is in good shape and working very hard – we would be looking back end of October. It could be November,” the Hibs manager said during the club’s pre-season training camp in Portugal.

Nisbet travelled with the squad along with fellow injured trio Paul Hanlon, Kyle Magennis, and Demi Mitchell, and with the Scottish Premiership taking an early winter break to coincide with the World Cup, Nisbet is likely to get time to train with his team-mates and return to action before the end of the calendar year.

Hanlon and Magennis both did some light running in the Algarve and Johnson is hopeful of having them and Mitchell back in contention sooner rather than later.

Kevin Nisbet has a chance of returning from injury before the end of October, according to Lee Johnson
Paul Hanlon, left, and Kyle Magennis do some running in Portugal as they continue their returns from injury