Mykola Kukharevych injury latest as Hibs boss Lee Johnson puts timeframe on striker's return

Hibs manager Lee Johnson is hopeful that Mykola Kukharevych will recover from injury in time to face Rangers when cinch Premiership action resumes on December 15.

The Ukrainian striker, who is on a season-long loan from French Ligue 1 side ESTAC Troyes, picked up a knock in the 1-0 defeat by Kilmarnock in the final league match before the pause for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Kukharevych travelled to Tbilisi after being included in the Ukraine under-21 squad for two fixtures against Georgia and Israel but wasn’t involved in either match and Ukrainian media reported that the 21-year-old had been carrying an injury when he reported for international duty.

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The former Rukh Lviv forward was in the stands as Hibs took on Middlesbrough last weekend in the first of two mid-season friendly matches, with another next week against partner club FC Edinburgh, but isn’t expected to feature until competitive football resumes.

Mykola Kukharevych has scored three goals for Hibs since arriving on loan from ESTAC Troyes

Lee Johnson remains hopeful that Kukharevych, who has scored three goals in ten games for the Easter Road side, will be fit to lead the line at Ibrox in two weeks’ time but if not, he should be back for the Christmas Eve match.

"Mykola has a medial ligament injury that he sustained in the last ten minutes against Kilmarnock. He went back to the City Football Group to have scans," Johnson revealed. “Sometimes the medical staff like to give the younger players a little bit of space but I’m going to try to push him to be available for the Rangers game. I think he probably will be ready for Rangers and if not, then he should make the Livingston game.”