After picking up a knee injury in an accidental collision with team-mate Nohan Kenneh in Saturday’s victory over St Mirren, the 29-year-old’s hopes of featuring in Qatar later this month were left teetering on the brink. After scans picked up a concerning anomaly at the back of his badly-bruised knee, he travelled down to Manchester to meet with a specialist.
Revealing he had been accompanied by representatives of both Hibs and the Socceroos medical teams, his Easter Road manager Lee Johnson said that while everyone was hoping for the best, the hopes of the 19-times capped forward being passed fit to join Graham Arnold’s World Cup squad remained 50-50.
But it has emerged that after discussing the results of the scan and satisfying subsequent concerns, the player who rejoined third-placed Hibs in August following a lucrative six-month stint in Saudi Arabia has been given the go ahead to join the world’s elite later this month. Drawn in Group D alongside France, Denmark and Tunisia, they open their campaign against the defending champions on November 22.
But while there was good news, he has been warned that while playing with his injury will not cause any irreversible or permanent damage, it may lead to some pain and will require careful managing if he is to make the most of his World Cup dream.