BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport
FRASER FYVIE is targeting his first Hibernian appearance of the season against Morton this weekend after stepping up his recovery from a persistent knee complaint.
The 23-year-old played the full 90 minutes for the Hibees’ under-20 side in a breathless 2-2 draw against their Hearts counterparts on Tuesday afternoon and emerged with no ill-effects.
Fyvie was plagued by anterior knee ligament damage throughout the second half of last season and was sidelined for two months between February and April.
Despite returning for the final six weeks of the campaign, helping the capital club to a historic Scottish Cup triumph, the injury persisted into this pre-season and he is yet to kick a ball for the senior side this term.
It meant Fyvie sat out the Hibees’ Europa League and Betfred Cup exits, however he is champing at the bit to face Morton on Saturday after his outing with the kids in midweek.
He told Hibs’ official website: “It’s a priority at the minute to try and get minutes under my belt, so the more that I get the sharper I’ll be and the fitter I’ll be for the first-team games, so that is a big positive.
“I was on the bench last Saturday against St Mirren which was good and I was getting back involved.
“Getting 90 minutes with the Development Squad won’t do me any harm. It was good to get my fitness back under my belt and I thought that the young boys did well.
“I’m now looking forward to Saturday against Morton. Hopefully it will be a good performance from the lads, we get the three points and I get a few minutes on the pitch.”
Meanwhile, Hibs head coach Neil Lennon has heaped praise on the impact made by Fyvie’s deputy, Marvin Bartley, during the capital club’s 100 per cent start to the Championship season.
The towering midfielder has been a dominant presence in recent triumphs against Falkirk, Dunfermline and St Mirren as the Hibees’ have cemented their status as title favourites.
And, while Lennon believes Bartley is something of an unsung hero at Easter Road, he has made it clear that he appreciates the job done by the former Burnley man.
Lennon lauded: “Marvin doesn’t get the plaudits but, for me, he did a great job at St Mirren. He does all the dirty bits and gives a platform for the rest of the boys to go and play.
“He does a lot of the things that a lot of people don’t see, but that sort of player is important to any team. He’s not the finished article and there are things he can work on, but he reads the game so well and is a great physical presence.
“He has a knack of breaking up attacks and allows the likes of [Dylan] McGeouch, [John] McGinn, [Andrew] Shinnie, [James] Keatings and the two strikers go and play.”