Hibs hit by another injury blow ahead of Rangers clash

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Hibs head coach Paul Heckingbottom has been dealt another injury blow after defender Tom James was ruled out for ‘several weeks’ with ankle ligament damage.

The right-back, who joined the club from Yeovil Town earlier this summer, was forced off on the stroke of half-time in Saturday’s opening 1-0 Ladbrokes Premiership victory over St Mirren.

James initially attempted to carry on after being caught by what Heckingbottom described as a ‘horrific’ late tackle by Buddies winger Ilkay Durmus, who managed to avoid being booked.

James, who made his fourth appearance of the season against Saints, was sent for scans and the results have shown that the player faces a race against time to play again during August.

The 23-year-old will miss Sunday’s clash at Rangers and could also sit out the last-16 Betfred Cup visit of Morton and league outings against St Johnstone and Motherwell.

Speaking in the statement which confirmed the extent of the injury, Heckingbottom said: “It’s a shame for Tom because he’s settled in well since signing in the summer and worked hard to earn a starting slot in the first league game against St Mirren.

“We hope he responds well to treatment and we won’t be without him for too long.

“In the meantime, it gives someone else an opportunity to stake their claim.”

Heckingbottom had been less than impressed with Durmus’ challenge when he spoke after the match.

He said: “The tackle is horrific. He’s nowhere near the ball and it’s high on his calf. 

“He’s pulled him over on his ankle and he’s turned his ankle.”

News of James’ set-back comes after Martin Boyle underwent his second knee operation in seven months on Tuesday after sustaining another injury during the July 26 Betfred Cup win at Elgin City.

Right-back David Gray and left-back Lewis Stevenson have also not yet featured this season due to knee and calf complaints respectively.

Centre-half Ryan Porteous, however, continued his comeback bid from knee surgery in January with an appearance for the colts in Tuesday’s 4-3 Tunnock’s Caramel Wafer defeat to Elgin City.

 
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