Quick Chris Cadden Hibs return tempered as Nick Montgomery issues update on full-back
Chris Cadden is unlikely to make his first team comeback until the new year.
Hibs manager Nick Montgomery says he looks forward to welcoming the 27-year-old right-sided full-back into his matchday squad but he does not see that happening for another couple of months.
Cadden, who was signed from MLS side Columbus Crew in January 2021, became a regular under Jack Ross before injury brought his first season to a premature halt and delayed his start to the following campaign. Battling back to full fitness, he subsequently won over both Shaun Maloney and then Lee Johnston before a ruptured Achilles tendon, picked up in the last game of last season, saw him sidelined once more.
He has yet to get the chance to play for Montgomery, who took over in September, but the former A-League gaffer says he is well aware of the former Motherwell defender’s attributes and says he is looking forward to having the option of selecting him when he is given the all-clear.
The frustratingly-long period of rehabilitation moved on a step at the end of October when the popular Scotland cap was able to swap the gym for some running and was given a guard of honour by his team-mates as he returned to the outdoor training pitches. But while he is delighted to see things are progressing in the right direction, Montgomery has warned against a swift integration into first team action for any of his newly-fit players, especially ones who have been on the rehabilitation trail for as long as Cadden.
“Look, he’s scheduled for January but getting back fit and getting back match fit are two different things,” said Montgomery. “So again that’s something we don’t put a date on. He is working hard like everyone else to try and get back, they’re all desperate to get back in the team and play. But ultimately the way we play you have to be 100 per cent fit, because we play at a high intensity. You need to be ready to play. It is not as simple as just being ticked off as fit because that’s not how it works in sport.”