SCOTT ALLAN is finally closing in on his long-awaited return to action with Hibernian after being given the green light to return to training full-time from Monday.
The fans’ favourite has been sidelined since August because of an unspecified ‘health issue’ that required further investigations.
The Easter Road outfit have been keen to keep the problem private and, although that has led to rumour and speculation over the player’s future, Ross has not yet shed any light on the reasons behind the 29-year-old’s enforced absence.
However, the former Celtic, West Brom and Dundee United midfielder has intensified his recovery in recent days and will take another huge step forward when he joins in with his first-team colleagues on Monday.
“Scott’s continued to increase his load this week,” explained a delighted Ross. “So, he’s taken part in a little bit with me and then some time with the performance department.
“The plan is for him to join in with the rest of the main group permanently from Monday.
“So, just as I mentioned a few months ago about him having a health issue that was going to be explored and assessed and we would go from there, we’re now at the stage where he is in this phased return to training.
“From Monday, that will be increased again and there will be a degree of normality about his training routine. He’ll still be monitored and we’ll build him up from there.
“It’s been quite a long time, in terms of him being out, so we’ll make sure we look after him in all aspects. But, so far, it’s been positive, his progression has been good.
“I’m delighted for Scott, first and foremost, in terms of making these small steps towards being back fully fit and available. And, naturally, for me as a manager, it would be terrific to potentially have him available at some point to feature in our team again.
“It’s all positive at the moment, which is good, but we’ll continue to assess that. In the main I’m delighted for him.
“We were happy to move along at the pace that was right for him and we’ve got to the stage now where we can involve him again.
“He’s absolutely delighted with that and I’m really pleased for him, because I’ve got a good personal relationship with him and it’s nice to see him back out doing what he loves doing best, which is obviously playing football.
“It’s been encouraging so far how he’s looked and we’ll look forward to that continuing over the next couple of weeks.”
As Allan prepares to return, Ross has been forced to address suggestions he could be on the way out. Rumours have linked the former St Mirren and Sunderland manager with possible interest from Celtic should Neil Lennon leave.
“I’m not planning on going anywhere soon,” he said following comments from sporting director Graeme Mathie that Hibs are aware of the chatter.
“If Graeme is saying that he’s only doing his job properly, but from my point of view I am very much enjoying the job and I’m very happy where I am at the moment.
“Somebody is in that job, it’s one of the biggest jobs in British football. So it’s not for me to comment, it’s about me concentrating on doing my job here as well as I can.”