Marvin Bartley, Florian Kamberi, Darren McGregor and David Gray all have a chance of returning from injury for the visit of Steve Clarke’s side to Easter Road on Saturday week. In addition, new Australian midfielder Mark Milligan is due to arrive in Edinburgh next week to kick off his Hibs career and could make his debut after being granted a work permit yesterday.
Bartley and Kamberi have both missed the last three matches with hamstring and knee problems, while McGregor has been out for seven matches with bruising on his knee and Gray missed last weekend’s defeat at Livingston with a groin niggle. Manager Neil Lennon initially feared midfielder Bartley might be out for two months after he limped off in the 3-0 defeat away to Molde three weeks ago, but he is expected to return next week. Kamberi is currently recuperating in Switzerland from the injury that has disrupted his start to the season and Lennon is hopeful of having the striker back to spearhead the attack for the first time in a league match this season.
Defenders McGregor and Gray are both set to take part in full training with the rest of their team-mates next week and, barring any setbacks, will be available for selection against Kilmarnock.
“Darren should be back for the Kilmarnock game, Bartley as well,” said Lennon. “Flo has been away to get some rehab in Switzerland. We’re hoping he will be back for the first game, he just needed some rest and treatment.
“The Livingston game was too soon for him but the rest was important to settle it down completely so it’s not a major issue.”
Milligan joined Hibs on a two-year contract last month but the 33-year-old Australia internationalist has not been able to feature so far as he awaited his work permit. The veteran midfielder is currently with the Socceroos at a training camp in Turkey and is expected to check in at East Mains next week. “We didn’t see the point in bringing him all the way here and then him going to Turkey for the Australian call-up because he wouldn’t have been eligible to play against Livingston anyway,” explained Lennon. “He’ll join up with us after the Australia training camp.”
Ofir Marciano is progressing well on his recovery from a finger injury but the goalkeeper, who has been sidelined since the end of last season, is likely to require another few weeks before he is ready to be considered for action. “Ofir is still a bit ginger on it with the contact with the finger,” said Lennon. “With the mechanisms of the finger, that’s nearly there now in terms of being completely healed, and it’s a case of getting over that psychological edge of getting through training sessions now. It will be maybe a week or two after the break. I’ll have to assess it and speak to Alan Combe, the goalkeeping coach, as well. He’s been out doing bits and pieces but not fully into training.”