By DARREN JOHNSTONE – Capital City Press
Hibs striker Farid El Alagui insists he is praying for an injury-free season after undergoing a minor knee operation last month.
The French-born Moroccan was sidelined for seven frustrating months last season after rupturing his Achilles tendon just six games into his Easter Road career.
El Alagui was then forced out at the tail end of the campaign with a knee complaint but the 30-year-old, who netted five goals last term, is now hoping to steer clear of the treatment room in the forthcoming season.
He said: “At the end of the season we decided with the medical team to get a little clean up operation on my left knee because that was giving me a little bit of a problem.
“We thought it was good to clean it and start the new season fresh. Everything went really well and I recovered quite quick. Now it’s all about build up for the season coming.
“When we spoke about it at the end of the season, I didn’t have to have the operation and I could have gotten through it with medication to help it feel better.
“But I wanted to start fresh and start the season free of injury.
“I don’t want to spend another season like last year for myself, I want to be fully fit so I decided to do this to be fully fit.”
Hibs returned for pre-season last week but El Alagui admits he will not be rushed back into training.
He said: “I might start slower than the group and not go straight into it. I’ll take more time to get back to it but it won’t be too long.”