BY ALAN TEMPLE – Capital City Press
Hibernian breathed a sigh of relief last night after it was confirmed that James Keatings has not suffered a hamstring tear.
The 23-year-old fell to the turf after 69 minutes of Hibs’ 3-0 win over Alloa on Saturday and was visibly distressed as he repeatedly punched the ground.
Despite head coach Alan Stubbs expressing his hope that the damage was ‘nothing too serious’ following the fixture, there were fears Keatings had suffered another serious hamstring injury.
However, he was sent for a scan on Monday and, after a nervous 24-hour wait, the results heralded good news for the ex-Hearts and Hamilton striker.
Keatings has suffered a minor stretch to existing scar tissue on his hamstring, rather than a new tear, and the Hibs coaching staff expect the player to make a swift recovery.
Keatings has endured an injury-hit start to his Easter Road career after initially damaging his hamstring during the club’s pre-season trip to La Manga.
He had a relapse prior to the first competitive match of the season – a 6-2 Petrofac Training Cup defeat against Rangers – and had to wait until a League Cup tie against Stranraer on August 26 to make his debut.
Keatings, who scored 11 goals for Hearts last season before crossing the capital divide in the summer, has started Hibs’ last two league games against Raith Rovers and Alloa – scoring his maiden goal in Hibs colours against the Fifers.
And he will hope to make a quick return to action, with competition for attacking places at Hibs currently fierce.