Graham Stack back to specialist to clear up injury

HIBS goalkeeper Graham Stack will pay another visit to a specialist next week in the hope he'll finally get the all-clear after being ruled out of action for the past six weeks with a back injury.

Stack was missing again today, as was Yves Ma-Kalambay who is battling a hamstring problem, leaving new arrival Graeme Smith to face Junior outfit Irvine Meadow in today's Active Nation Scottish Cup tie.

However, boss John Hughes hopes to have both available again soon as he seeks stiff competition for the right to wear the gloves at Easter Road.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Stack hasn't featured since being replaced by Ma-Kalambay at half-time in the 2-0 win over Falkirk at the end of November, his problem being diagnosed as a bulging disc in his back.

The much-travelled keeper has already had an epidural painkilling injection in a bid to overcome the problem and today Hughes revealed the 28-year-old may require a second jag.

He said: "Graham will be going down to London in the middle of the week, hopefully to get the final nod. He might get another jag to take away the inflammation."

A bulging disc isn't an un- common complaint and Hughes believes that, with the correct management, 28-year-old Stack should be able to cope. He said: "It's a case of nursing it, knowing what to do in terms of the right exercises, core work, pilates and plenty of massage."

The hamstring Ma-Kalambay tweaked in the opening period of the visit by Rangers two days after Christmas also appears to be easing, offering Hughes the prospect of watching the big Belgian, Stack and Smith, who made his debut against Hearts, battle it out for their place in the first team.

And, while Ma-Kalambay's position would seem most at risk following Smith's arrival as the 24-year-old's contract expires at the end of the season, Hughes insisted it will be a three-way fight.

He said: "I feel I am a fair guy and if you show me the attitude, application and desire to be the best then you won't be far away from the jersey. You can't go feeling sorry for yourself, believing it is everyone else's fault – I want players that come out fighting.

"When all three goalkeepers are fit I feel they are all capable of fighting for that jersey."

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Despite Smith's arrival, Hughes remains intent on adding yet another goalkeeper to work under coach Scott Thomson. He said: "I'm looking more for a younger goalkeeper, not one at 19 as we have that in Thomas Flynn, but someone aged 21 or 22.

"I want to put together a 'goalkeeping school'."

Related topics: