Hibs may look to sign a replacement for Martin Boyle
Hibs boss Paul Heckingbottom admitted he may have to go back into the transfer market after learning winger Martin Boyle has been ruled out “for the foreseeable future” as he faces a second knee operation.
The 26-year-old was sent for a scan having been forced to limp out of the Betfred Cup tie against Elgin City on Friday night having taken a knock to his left knee, the one which required surgery in January.
The initial injury happened during Australia’s final warm-up match for the Asian Cup, ruling Boyle out of the competition and the rest of the season.
Admitting losing Boyle was a “big blow”, Heckingbottom said: “We have lost a player who was a big part of what we wanted to do, his pace, his athleticism, so we have to look at it.
“We are all really disappointed with the news. It is the last thing that we wanted after seeing Boyle work so hard in the months that we have been here trying to return to action.
“However, as always, he has put a brave face on it and has already put things into perspective. He will get fantastic support once again during his lay off and will be supporting the rest of the boys as always.”
Boyle added: “There’s no doubting it’s a blow because I put everything into my recovery in the last few months.
“The positive is that I know what the rehabilitation entails, and I’m just determined to do things properly and get back to the level I know I can get to.
“The staff have been brilliant with me, as have the rest of the boys in the dressing room.
“I’m gutted it will be a while before I’m back out there with them again, but I’ll be making sure my voice is still heard around HTC. They’re not getting rid of me that easily!
“I’d also like to thank all the supporters who have sent me words of support since Friday. Hopefully it won’t be too long before I’m able to pay them back.”
The news overshadowed tonight’s friendly with Newcastle, a match Hibs lost 3-1 but one which Heckingbottom believes will stand his team in good stead as they approach the start of the new Premiership season.
“It was a good one for the players who were looking forward to it and the fans to see the calibre of players we were playing against,” he said. “But it is a million miles away from St Mirren who we are playing in a few days.
“It was a good work out and the pleasing thing for me was how much of a stretch it was. It would have been pointless just trying to sit in and contain them because we are not going to play that way.”