Michael Nelson has emerged as a serious injury doubt for Hibernian’s Saturday’s meeting with Aberdeen as the fall-out from the weekend’s controversial clash with Celtic continued.
The defender sustained what appears to have been a serious facial injury in the 1-1 draw with the champions at Easter Road.
Following the match, Celtic manager Neil Lennon accused Hibs of a “shocking” level of physicality and of “late, high, reckless” challenges, branding one tackle by Rowan Vine on Darnell Fisher as “rugby-esque”.
Vine responded on social media with a defence of Hibs’ tackling and a reference to a 1998 incident in which Alan Shearer kicked Lennon in the head during a Leicester-Newcastle match, before apologising and describing the outburst as “banter”. It is understood officials at Hibs are satisfied with the apology.
But Nelson was also clearly irked by Lennon’s post-match attack, using his Twitter account to post a photo of his black eye and the message: “Certain people crying & moaning about tackles in the paper today. Don’t hear me complaining about this. #manup.” He added: “End of the day one player badly injured from a mistimed tackle/collision and it wasn’t a Celtic player.”
Having been sent for tests following the aerial challenge with Amido Balde, it appears Nelson has since been given bad news. Responding to a Twitter question over the extent of his injury, Nelson replied: “Possibly a little bit more than a black eye,” and then in a separate response: “Not great, pal. All will be revealed Thursday, I think.” Pictures of the defender on Saturday, and since, reveal massive swelling and bruising around his left eye. It is understood manager Pat Fenlon is keen to keep the extent of the injury under wraps until his weekly press conference on Thursday.
Lennon, meanwhile, refused to comment when asked about the Twitter exchanges yesterday.