Hibs star Ian Murray was today seeing the surgeon who carried out his hip operation after admitting his recovery has been much slower than expected.
Club skipper Murray went under the knife, having started just one match since the end of October – the New Year derby against Hearts – and admits he’s been left frustrated at being stranded on the sidelines watching his team-mates battling to avoid the threat of relegation. The 30-year-old said: “It’s been slower than we had hoped for in the last few weeks. I was doing really well, ahead of schedule, but then I took a chest infection which knocked me back ten to 14 days.
“I’m back down south to see the guy who did the operation at the start of January and hope to know more. It’s not been a disaster, it is getting better, but it has been slow.”
However, utility man Murray insisted that having the problem, which had plagued him for weeks, sorted would be worth it in the long term. He said: “I was glad to have played the first 14 or 15 games of the season but missing the last three-and-a-half months has been frustrating. These things happen and I’d rather be right for the next two or three years than battling on and have this happen next year and the one after that so I’m quite relaxed about it at the moment.”
Murray admitted, though, that as club captain he’s found it tough to watch Pat Fenlon’s side scrapping at the foot of the SPL table although they’ve eased their worries a bit by opening up a four-point gap on basement outfit Dunfermline.
He said: “When results are going wrong you want to be out there to try to help. But we’ve got a bit of daylight and now the target has to be to try to catch Inverness Caley which is achievable because we play them in the next few weeks.”
Murray, of course, will be missing again when Hibs travel to face Ayr United at Somerset Park in the quarter-final of the William Hill Scottish Cup on Saturday with the memory of how the south-west club knocked the Capital side out of the competition 14 months ago still vivid in the memory.
In the intervening period Ayr have won promotion to the First Division as Hibs have continued to struggle in the lower reaches of the top flight while Brian Reid’s side took a string of SPL scalps in getting to the semi-finals of the Scottish Communities League Cup.
And so Murray had a word of warning for Fenlon’s players, telling Hibs TV: “The worst thing we can do is underestimate them. The First Division is decent, very competitive as we’ve seen with both Ayr and Falkirk getting to the semi-finals of the League Cup.”