Hibs boss Paul Heckingbottom has revealed how he has mounted one-on-one training sessions with Martin Boyle as he prepares to return to first-team action, insisting the return of the flying winger and Scotland Under-21 defender Ryan Porteous will be like making two new signings.
Boyle and Porteous have yet to play under Heckingbottom, the pair forced to undergo surgery on serious knee injuries which brought their seasons to premature ends before the former Barnsley and Leeds United manager replaced Neil Lennon. But now the head coach is eagerly anticipating them rejoining their team-mates when they report back for the start of pre-season training on Thursday with Boyle, who was crocked while on international duty with Australia, having already benefited from a personal tutorial from his new boss. Heckingbottom said: “I managed to get a bit of work on my own with Martin in the last week of the season. It had got to the stage where he was sprinting and just startinng doing some ball work so I wanted to get involved in some of his rehabilitation and link it to the position we see him on the pitch.
“It’s difficult for a manager when a player is injured because you want to be showing them the plans you have for them.
“So it was important that Martin can look back on games and see where he fits in and where I am asking him to play.
“Unfortunately, Ryan was ill at the back end of the season so he’s probably a couple of weeks behind but he should be fit and ready to go. I know it’s an old cliche but, in effect, they will be two big signings for me in that they haven’t played for me yet.”