‘He is just not ready’ - Hibs head coach Paul Heckingbottom updates fans on Ryan Gauld

Hibs boss Paul Heckingbottom has revealed Ryan Gauld is still “not ready” for a comeback.

The 23-year-old midfielder has played only five times since signing on loan from Sporting Lisbon in January and has not featured since picking up a hamstring injury in the 2-0 Ladbrokes Premiership defeat by Celtic at Easter Road on February 6.

Gauld has yet to play under Heckingbottom but after playing in a reserve game last week against Ross County it looked like he could be available for the trip to Livingston on Friday night.

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However, Gauld did not make it and ahead of the game against Kilmarnock at Easter Road on Wednesday night, the Hibees manager admitted the former Scotland Under-21 player was still not under consideration.

Ryan Gauld (right) with Hibs' strength and condition coach Paul Green. Picture: SNS Group

Asked if Gauld was any closer to a return Heckingbottom said: “No. We played him in a game, he trained after that game but he is just not ready to be involved with us daily.

“We know it is the final part of his rehab and that’s where we need to get him, so he can train every day, gradually build his minutes with his development games and with us so that he is ready and we know that when we put him out to do 90 minutes for us that he can do it.”

With just seven games remaining, Heckingbottom admitted his frustration for him and Gauld.

He said: “There is nothing worse if you are a player than being injured.

“If a manager is not picking you at least you can do something about it and convince him on the training ground but when you are injured you can’t, you feel helpless and it is the worst part of the job.”