Paul Hanlon is set to miss Sunday’s derby with Hearts as the Hibs defender battles to overcome a hip injury which ruled him out of the league and cup double-header against Kilmarnock.
The former Scotland Under-21 captain had been the only outfield player to have played every minute of every game this season until he was forced out of last Wednesday’s SPL clash with Killie.
After the 2-2 draw boss Pat Fenlon expressed the hope that Hanlon would be fit to take his place alongside James McPake in the centre of defence as Hibs travelled to Rugby Park for their William Hill Scottish Cup quarter-final tie with the Ayrshire club.
But Fenlon was later forced to admit the 23-year-old was “struggling” and although he made the trip west it was to cheer on his team-mates as a Leigh Griffiths hat-trick steered them to a 4-2 triumph and a semi-final clash with First Division Falkirk.
That match, it has been revealed, will take place at Hampden on Saturday, April 13, with a 12.45 pm kick-off and will be shown live on BBC television. Ticket prices and sales arrangements will be announced at a later date.
Fenlon, though, insisted all thoughts of the cup and the possibility of a second successive final appearance would be put on hold as he and his players concentrate on the derby and taking a further step towards securing a place in the SPL’s top six. He said: “All we are thinking about is Hearts, it’s the next game and all that we can worry about.
“It’s a big game for us and we are going to make sure we are prepared for it.”