Rocky Bushiri injury fear for Hibs after defender is stretchered off during cup derby defeat by Hearts

Hibs manager Lee Johnson fears Rocky Bushiri may have suffered a season-ending injury during the Scottish Cup fourth-round defeat by city rivals Hearts.

Rocky Bushiri is stretchered off during injury time
Rocky Bushiri is stretchered off during injury time

The Belgian defender required lengthy treatment following a challenge from Cammy Devlin on the Main Stand touchline during injury time at Easter Road, and looked to be in considerable distress. The 23-year-old had to be stretchered off and speaking afterwards, his manager admitted that the early signs weren’t good.

"It looks like a bad one, if I'm honest with you,” Johnson said after the match. “Touch wood Rocky hasn't broken his leg, but it certainly looked like that from the challenge,” he added.

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Bushiri was replaced by club captain Paul Hanlon but Bushiri’s injury could force Hibs to dig into the transfer market for defensive reinforcements. Sunderland centre-back Bailey Wright has already been linked with a January switch, and a reunion with Johnson, but with Ryan Porteous also expected to depart the club before the end of the month it would leave Hibs with just Hanlon and Will Fish as their senior centre-backs, with Darren McGregor focusing more on coaching.

Jacob Blaney and Kanayo Megwa have been partnering each other in central defence for the club’s under-19s while Chris Cadden and Lewis Stevenson have also been deployed in a back three over the past 12 months.

Johnson insisted he had no way of knowing if the derby was the last time Porteous will pull on a Hibs shirt but even if it isn’t, and the Scotland internationalist is around for next weekend’s cinch Premiership game against Aberdeen, the Capital club are still in need of defensive reinforcements.