Chris Hogg pays the price after making hasty Hibs comeback

HIBERNIAN captain Chris Hogg admits he paid the price for trying to rush back from injury as he sweats on a return for the Clydesdale Bank Premier League run-in.

The 25-year-old defender has missed the last three games due to a back injury that has troubled him for weeks. He attempted a comeback for last month's games against Falkirk and Dundee United but that only aggravated the problem. It is unclear whether he will be fit for Sunday's visit of title-chasing Rangers.

Hogg said: "It's coming along slowly. It's actually a lot slower than I thought it would be – it started with muscle spasms and it was restricting my movement. I managed to get back for the Falkirk and Dundee United games, but I probably came back a bit too early and I ended up breaking down. In hindsight, leaving it after the Falkirk match was maybe the right thing to do, but I wanted to get back to playing. It's frustrating because you want to be part of the team, play in the games and help towards picking up points that we need."

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Despite facing a defensive crisis as a result of Hogg's injury and Sol Bamba's three-match suspension, manager John Hughes has vowed to take no chances on the fitness of Paul Hanlon.

Hanlon returned to the side at Celtic last weekend following a six-match absence. But the 20-year-old continues to be plagued by a pelvic problem and has been excused from training until today.

Hughes said: "I thought Paul did a great job in defence against Celtic, especially when you consider he had only trained twice before the game. That'll be the case again this week, wrapping him up in cotton wool because of the kind of injury it is. You've got to be extremely careful with pelvic problems. It's a bad injury that he has got and you've got to work it, rest it, work it, rest it, it's the only way to deal with it.

"If you keep battering away at him and pushing him all the time then you can make the situation even worse, so we have got to watch what we're doing."

He added: "It's a massive bonus to have him back in the side because, to be honest, I didn't think that we would have him available again this season."