BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport
NEIL LENNON has allayed fears over the fitness of John McGinn ahead of Scotland’s crunch World Cup trip to face England.
The combative midfielder, who boasts two caps for the national side, limped off after 77 minutes of Saturday’s 2-0 win over St Mirren, sparking concerns that he could be a doubt for the fixture against the Auld Enemy.
Lennon confirmed that McGinn was suffering from a slight knee injury, while he has also been troubled by a persistent ankle complaint which could require further treatment in the future.
Nevertheless, the Northern Irishman sees no reason why the 22-year-old will not be in the Scotland squad for Wembley on November 11, which will be named at noon today, and hopes he will be fit to face Ayr United this weekend.
Lennon said: “John was just feeling his knee so we took him off. There’s a little problem with the medial ligament, which Darren McGregor also has a similar things. They were a little bit sore at half-time but you want to keep these guys going.
“John also has an ankle problem that we’re aware of. There’s a really thick piece of calcified bone at the top of his ankle and it’s something we’re going to have to monitor as the season goes on.
“The more knocks you get, these calcium deposits can build and build. Ultimately that might need to be shaved.
“However, it was the little niggle in the knee that was the issue on Saturday but I don’t think it was anything too serious.
“I’d imagine John should be fine for Scotland duty . . . I’m more concerned that he ready for our game against Ayr!”
Lennon, meanwhile, has lavished praise on McGinn’s midfield colleague Fraser Fyvie.
The former Aberdeen and Wigan play-maker is enjoying one of his most consistent spells of form in the Hibs side and turned in another composed performance against the Buddies at the weekend.
And Lennon insists he is an unsung hero of the Hibees and bring out the best in McGinn and Andrew Shinnie in the middle of the park.
He added: “I think Fraser has been outstanding. He has really come into his own in the last four or five matches.
“He reads the game so well and keeps us ticking over. He is strong, is looking fitter and has enjoyed a really good run of games for us.
“What Fraser does compliments John [McGinn] really well, and you have [Andrew] Shinnie coming to prominence as well – he was everywhere on Saturday and sees things and tries things.
“Those three players are having a big bearing on our performances.”