Chris Mueller boost for Hibs ahead of Motherwell clash as key duo pencilled in for Aberdeen return

Shaun Maloney is hopeful that Chris Mueller will be available for Hibs’ Scottish Cup quarter-final meeting with Motherwell on Sunday, as the Easter Road squad starts looking a bit healthier.
Shaun Maloney is hopeful Chris Mueller will be involved against MotherwellShaun Maloney is hopeful Chris Mueller will be involved against Motherwell
Shaun Maloney is hopeful Chris Mueller will be involved against Motherwell

The American attacker, who missed the goalless draws against Dundee and St Johnstone after contracting Covid-19, has returned to training and could be involved at Fir Park.

”Chris has come back from Covid, but when that happens it is different for every player,” Maloney said.

“He has the possibility of being involved at the weekend.

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"Chris is a positive, particularly in that final third. Hopefully he can give us something.”

Captain Paul Hanlon, first-choice goalkeeper Matt Macey, and influential midfielder Joe Newell were also back on the training pitch but are a little further away in terms of returning to action.

However, Hanlon and Newell are targeting a return to the matchday squad for next weekend’s trip to Aberdeen on Scottish Premiership duty.

“Joe and Paul have just joined modified training, so I think it’s more likely they will be available for the Aberdeen game,” Maloney added.

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“It’s good to have some senior players back with the squad. I think you notice the environment change slightly as soon as they are training.”

However, several key players remain sidelined. Kevin Nisbet faces seven to nine months out after undergoing surgery on his ACL injury in London earlier this week, while Harry Clarke, Kyle Magennis, Demi Mitchell, and Paul McGinn are still nursing injuries.

Maloney was hopeful last month that defender Clarke – who is yet to kick a ball for Hibs since joining on an 18-month loan deal in January after he suffered a hamstring injury in training – could be in contention either before or after the international break this month.

McGinn, meanwhile, returned from an initial injury in the 2-0 defeat by Rangers at Ibrox last month only to break down after just 12 minutes.

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Magennis rejoined full training in January but suffered a setback when he picked up a knock in a bounce game while Mitchell, who sustained a knee injury in the Scottish Cup fifth-round victory over Arbroath, is likely to return before the season is out but there is, as yet, no timeframe for the returns of Magennis, McGinn, or the former Blackpool wingback.

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