Mykola Kukharevych ruled out of U21 Euros as Hibs remain hopeful of extending forward's Easter Road stay
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Mykola Kukharevych won’t feature for Ukraine at the UEFA European Under-21 Championships in Romania and Georgia this summer as the 21-year-old continues his recovery from injury. The Troyes forward joined Hibs on a season-long loan in August but made just 15 appearances in green and white, and just five off the bench in the second half of the season as he battled a medial ligament problem followed by a muscular issue towards the end of the season.
The latter injury has ruled him out of featuring for his country in this summer’s tournament. Ukraine were drawn in a group with co-hosts Romania, Spain, and Croatia after defeating Slovakia in the play-offs, with Kukharevych involved albeit not on the scoresheet.
Ukraine assistant manager Evgeny Gres confirmed Kukharevych’s absence in a Facebook post, along with those of Dmytro Kapinus, Yehor Yarmolyuk, and Vladyslav Supryaha.
Easter Road boss Lee Johnson revealed that Kukharevych had suffered a ‘bit of a setback' in his bid to return to action before the end of the league season, and the forward travelled down to Manchester to be looked after by the City Football Group’s medical staff.
Kukharevych is aiming to have recovered by the end of this month and while that is too late to participate in the Euros, it should mean he is fully fit for the start of the new season. Where that might be remains to be seen.
Parent club Troyes suffered the ignominy of relegation to Ligue 2 and Kukharevych has played just 13 minutes across two substitute appearances for the French side, having spent a season with OH Leuven in Belgium prior to joining Hibs. He also has Mama Balde and Iké Ugbo ahead of him in the pecking order at the Stade de l'Aube.
Johnson is keen to extend the forward’s stay at Easter Road either temporarily or on a more permanent basis – if possible. “He is a good footballer and I would love to have him for longer, whether that be on loan or permanent,” Johnson said earlier this year. He may well be hoping his personal links with the City Football Group, who own Troyes, can help in his efforts to bring Kukharevych back to Edinburgh.