Hibs boss relaxed over Bamba knee injury

JOHN HUGHES today insisted that he has no concerns over Sol Bamba's knee injury — as the big defender prepared to return to training after World Cup duty.

Bamba rejoins his team-mates today after being given an extra ten days off because of his inclusion in the Ivory Coast squad for South Africa, although he ended up being benched for the entire tournament by boss Sven Goran Eriksson.

The 25-year-old was involved in almost all of his country's games in the build-up to the World Cup but sat out each of their three group matches at the finals because of trouble with his knee. Bamba suffered from the same problem for Hibs last season but Hughes revealed that the Ivorian was able to continue to feature because they adapted his training programme and he is confident the player can have an injury-free campaign if they do the same again.

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Hughes said: "We have done our best by Sol, he's had some extra time off but we need him back now.

"We need him to be training for a couple of days to allow us to do all of our testing on him before we go out to Holland, he's got to be over there with us getting ready to go for the season again.

"His knee was a problem last year for us, he had one or two problems with it and we had to work out when to push him and when not to push him. I think that it probably flared up during the World Cup because he was training twice a day and that was just too much for it.

"It's not a problem for us, as long as we nurse him through in the same way that we did last season.

"There is a bit of frustration there sometimes because he can't take part in everything that the boys are doing but that is part and parcel of football.