Farid El Alagui is on course to make his long-awaited return to action in January after the Hibernian striker resumed light training this week.
The 29-year-old, who netted four goals in six games during a bright start to his Easter Road career, suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon as the capital club slumped to a 2-1 defeat against Alloa on 30 August. He underwent surgery in early September, with a timeframe of four to six months placed on his recovery, and he has made prodigious progress so far.
The former Falkirk and Brentford striker is back on the training pitch and has begun running for the first time since his injury.
El Alagui is reluctant to set a date for his return to competitive action, but it is understood Hibs are hopeful he could feature at some point next month.
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“The surgeon gave the green light to start running this week and that’s very big news for me,” said the French-Moroccan forward. “Being able to run shows that I am not too far from a comeback, so I am really happy and pleased to be going in the right direction.
“I know that there is still a lot to do but I am happy with the progress. We are at the three-month mark now and I think we have done the main part of the recovery. I hope to back as quickly as possible. Between January and February would be a good target.”
Meanwhile, Hibs head coach Alan Stubbs believes his players are finally regaining the trust of supporters following relegation last term. In recent weeks, the Easter Road side have pieced together an eight-match unbeaten run in the league, including victories over Rangers, Livingston and Dumbarton.
“I said from the first day I came here that the players need to earn the fans’ trust again,” said Stubbs. “Slowly but surely, they are starting to do that.
“What happened in the previous season won’t just evaporate overnight, so it is really important we give the supporters something to be proud of.
“We feel like we are starting to give them something positive to talk about and a little spring in their step.”
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