BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport
Danny Handling returned to action following eight months of injury torment by playing 45 minutes for Hibernian’s under-20 side – and admits he didn’t want to come off.
The 22-year-old impressed during the first half of the young Hibees’ 1-0 win over their St Mirren counter-parts on Wednesday and showed no ill-effects from the outing.
It is the first time Handling has featured at any level since suffering a cruciate knee ligament injury in a friendly against Berwick Rangers back in July. The damage required two separate operations and a gruelling rehabilitation programme.
The former Scotland under-21 star was an unused substitute for Alan Stubbs’ first team in recent clashes against Ross County, Inverness and Raith Rovers.
However, he hopes the low-key run-out at Ainslie Park paves the way for a return to senior action as Hibs chase promotion and Scottish Cup glory in the final months of the campaign.
“I was actually going to ask to play a bit longer,” said Handling, who will be in contention for Hibs’ Championship trip to St Mirren following the international break. “But it was probably sensible for me to take it one step at a time.
“It’s been a frustrating last few months, with the team doing so well I’ve been disappointed not to be involved.
“I’m over the moon to get the first 45 minutes under my belt, I’m just hoping to get back in that starting 11, and I’m one step closer to doing that now.”