Broken jaw victim Gary Deegan is hoping to get the green light this week to return to training, Hibs boss Pat Fenlon has revealed.
Deegan is due for another hospital check on the injury sustained in an unprovoked attack as the midfielder left a city centre nightspot in the early hours of the morning after he and his team-mates had been celebrating the Easter Road outfit’s win over Dundee which had sent them to the top of the SPL table for the first time this season.
The 25-year-old has been unable to train since that incident more than five weeks ago, the lay-off, according to Fenlon, having left the former Coventry City player feeling down and “a bit depressed.”
But now Fenlon is hoping the gloom will be lifted when Deegan undergoes his latest check-up although the manager insisted the Irishman, who was proving to be an influential figure in the middle of the park, won’t be rushed back into action prematurely.
He said: “Gary is due back in hospital this week, so hopefully they will give him the all-clear to start getting in some training. He isn’t doing anyting at the moment, he’s just been taking things easy, letting the fractures heal. We are just trying to make sure they heal properly and then build him up and get him going again.”
Fenlon, though, refused to put a timescale on Deegan’s recovery, adamant it will take as long as need be, pointing out caution will have to be applied in even letting him become involved in “contact” training with his team-mates until he is completely ready.
The Hibs manager said: “It’s not something we will say will take a week, two weeks or a
month. It will be whatever it is, how fractures heal and how quickly we can get him back in to the physical stuff.
“We will have to listen to what the doctors say as to the next step and a case of monitoring him on a weekly basis rather than say he is going to be back at a certain time.”
Meanwhile, Fenlon is confident skipper James McPake will be available for this Saturday’s clash with Dundee at Dens Park. A back spasm ruled him out of the weekend win over Dundee United, a result which saw Hibs move two points clear at the top of the SPL.