Ryan Porteous set to return to Hibs squad for St Johnstone clash
Ryan Porteous is in contention to make his first competitive appearance for Hibs in seven months this weekend.
The 20-year-old centre-back has been sidelined by a serious knee problem since January but, after several weeks of training, he is being primed for possible inclusion against St Johnstone at Easter Road on Saturday.
The return of Porteous comes at a time when his fellow defenders Darren McGregor and Tom James are absent through injury, and Sean Mackie is about to serve a one-game ban against Saints. In addition, full-backs Lewis Stevenson and David Gray are both working their way back to full match fitness after having their pre-season heavily disrupted by injury.
Porteous, who was a regular starter under Neil Lennon last season until injury struck, has been back in training since last month. His only first-team involvement so far came as a substitute in the pre-season friendly defeat by Newcastle United at the end of July, but he acquitted himself impressively as he came through the full 90 minutes of Hibs Colts’ Tunnock’s Caramel Wafer Challenge Cup tie against Elgin City a fortnight ago.
The centre-back was fit and ready to play for Hibs’ development team in Tuesday’s friendly against Tranent Juniors, but the Scotland Under-21 internationalist was left out in order to preserve him for involvement in Saturday’s squad, with McGregor’s abdominal injury - sustained against Morton last weekend - leaving Paul Hanlon and Adam Jackson as the only other fit senior centre-backs available to manager Paul Heckingbottom.