Hibs boss Alan Stubbs today revealed Martin Boyle won’t travel to the Easter Road club’s Spanish training base as he recovers from major surgery on his knee.
And the head coach admitted a question mark also hangs over whether striker Farid El Alagui, who missed seven months of action after rupturing his achilles tendon, will make the trip to the sunshine of La Manga as he overcomes the “clean-up” operation on his knee which took place at the end of the season.
Stubbs plans to have 20 or 21 players in the party which departs for the week-long stay tomorrow but intends only to take those who are “fully fit.”
He said: “I’ve still to make a final decision on Farid. He is due to start jogging next week but I want a squad of players who are able to train fully in La Manga and Farid is no necessarily in that bracket just yet.”
El Alagui, however, is ahead of Boyle in his rehabilitation, the 22-year-old having torn his medial ligament in the final game of the regular Championship season, an injury which was estimated to sideline him for an extended period.
Boyle turned down the offer of a new deal with Dundee to sign a two-year deal at Easter Road having spent the second half of last season on loan at the Capital club. And while disclosing that Boyle won’t travel, Stubbs insisted the player’s recovery remains on schedule and refused to rule him out of being ready for the start of the new league campaign.
He said: “We feel it would be more beneficial to Martin to stay behind and work one-to-one with the physios and strength and conditioning coaches here. That will be good for him. He’s still a few weeks behind the main squad and there’s no rush to get him back.
“You have to remember it was a serious injury and we have to make sure his rehabilitation is thorough and, when he comes back, there’s no recurrence.”
While adamant it is too soon to say if Boyle will be ready to face Dumbarton as Hibs kick-off another promotion bid, Stubbs said: “We don’t know what lies ahead.
“The important thing is we need to be careful. We’ve still got the best part of five weeks before our first league game. We are hopeful, our dates have not changed when we think he might be back, that’s probably the best way to describe it.”