Martin Boyle, James Keatings and Dan Carmichael could all return for Hibs


BY ALAN TEMPLE – Capital City Press

Hibs head coach Alan Stubbs has confirmed that a hat-trick of summer signings are closing in on full fitness – however he is sweating over Dominique Malonga and Jordon Forster.

James Keatings, Danny Carmichael and Martin Boyle are yet to feature for the Hibees this term after sitting out the whole of pre-season and Saturday’s competitive curtain-raiser against Rangers with knocks.

However, all three players have returned to training this week, with Keatings shaking of a hamstring strain and Carmichael recovering from a slight groin complaint.

(Pic: Twitter @domsmalonga)
Malonga was taken off in the first half against Rangers (Pic: Twitter @domsmalonga)

Boyle, who made his loan move from Dundee permanent in the summer, is understood to be the furthest along in his recovery from knee surgery but is suspended for the encounter against his former club on Saturday.

Stubbs said: “They are stepping up and getting closer with every passing day.

“We are hoping that – as long as everything goes well in training this week – there may be a possibility that James [Keatings] and Dan [Carmichael] can be part of the squad as well.

“It is still early days and I don’t want to tempt fate, but I would be hopeful that we can add to the squad on Saturday with some faces that have been on the treatment table.”

However, it was not all good news on the injury front in the aftermath of Saturday’s crushing 6-2 Petrofac Training Cup defeat against Rangers.

Rangy striker Dominique Malonga and Jordon Forster both limped from the field against the Gers and have subsequently been sent for scans to ascertain the severity of the knocks.

Forster, who endured an injury hit campaign last season with foot and appendix issues, is expected to miss at least a fortnight.

Stubbs added: “We will determine the extent of the injuries when they have had the scans and that will give us a better indication.”

Meanwhile, the Hibs boss has confirmed that former Ibrox youngster Rhys McCabe is on his radar as he continues to pursue midfield reinforcements.

The 23-year-old has been training with the capital club this week after he failed to win a deal at St Johnstone following a recent trial. The Hibees have also been strongly linked with John McGinn and Dylan McGeouch.

Stubbs said: “Rhys has been in for a few days and we are having a look at him. It is that time of the year when there are players coming in and out of clubs aiming to earn contracts.

“Rhys is no different, he’s trying to find himself a club. We had an opportunity to bring him in for a look and we’ve explored that.”