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Neil Lennon

Hibs’ Head Coach Neil Lennon admits that John McGinn’s absence will be a loss for the club but he insists that it will provide an opportunity for someone else to stake a claim for a first team place.

Scotland international McGinn underwent surgery on Thursday after Lennon felt that it was unfair to ask the player to continue playing through the pain barrier and complicating the injury.

On a positive note however James Keatings and Danny Handling have resumed training after periods of injury although there is some doubt on the fitness of Fraser Fyvie.

With no game this weekend, Lennon has given the players time off to recover from aches and strains ahead of perhaps the biggest game of the season so far.

Speaking to Hibs TV, Lennon said:“ John (McGinn) came in on Monday and he was limping badly and it was getting worse.

“It was too much to ask for John to continue on, he was in a lot of discomfort and had been for a considerable period of time but it’s progressively got worse.

“Obviously we would have liked to have had him for the game on Friday week, but there was a risk of complicating the injury and making things worse.

“Obviously we didn’t want to do that for John’s sake.

Hopefully it’s a pretty routine operation, but enough was enough and we got him in, got him done and will hopefully have him back for mid-January.

“John’s been an exceptional player for the club and in my time he has been really consistent so it’s a loss but it someone else’s opportunity to come in and stake a claim.

“Keats (James Keatings) and Danny Handling are out on the grass and hopefully we will see James train next week whish is ahead of schedule which is good.

“Fraser (Fyvie) has got a lot of swelling around the groin so obviously we will have to manage him this week and next to see if he will be available for Friday week.

“There’s a bit of a frost down at the minute, temperatures are not the greatest, but the players have trained well this week and will train tomorrow before having the weekend off.

“We didn’t see any need to elongate the rest. Some of the players aren’t comfortable with having time off so we’ve treated it as a normal week, we’re just missing out on the Saturday.

“You always like to keep things going especially off the back of  arguably our best game of the season but there is nothing we can do about it.

“It’s not a concerted period of time, it’s just one weekend so it gives us a chance to rest some aching bones.”