Hibs winger Alan O'Brien hits the comeback trail

alanobrienhibs.jpg picture by 1875steve

Hibs have been handed a massive boost, with the news that injured winger Alan O'Brien is back in training again after injury.

The 23-year-old Republic of Ireland international started the season in fine form, after a poor first season at Easter Road, which was blighted by a number of injuries and poor form.

However, O'Brien's injury jinx struck again when he picked up a knee injury that slowly niggled away at the player.

The problem first appeared during the Hibees 3-2 win over Falkirk at Easter Road, a game in which O'Brien turned in a stunning performance. He then only lasted 60 minutes in the following game against Inverness Caledonian Thistle.

O'Brien was sent for an exploratory operation and a tear in his knee cartilage was found, which also caused stray fibres to attach themselves to the tendon.

The Dubliner went under the knife last month and was told he faced 4-6 weeks out, but he has delighted the Hibees by returning to training after just 4 weeks.

Hibs boss Mixu Paatelainen has revealed that O'Brien is already back training with the first team, he said:

"Alan will start training with the squad again at the start of next week," he said. "When he had the surgery we were told it would be between four and six weeks before he would be able to start training again. That has only been four weeks now and he has done really well to get to this stage so soon.

"He has been doing some training on his own with the club physio, but so far it has all been in a controlled situation because we have been trying to build him up gradually.

"He has been doing some running but he is not up to a full sprint yet and because everything has been done under controlled conditions, there has been no reflex movement yet either. We will have to wait to see how he reacts when he is involved in a normal session with the rest of the boys.

"He has got a lot of pace - everyone can see that - and he had been playing very well before he suffered the injury.

"We need players who are as fast as Alan because they are the ones who can unlock opposition defences. It will be good to have him back training with the boys and hopefully it won't be too long before he is back in the side again because. I think he was beginning to show everyone what he is capable of. But it is important he doesn't do too much too soon."

Thanks once again to the Hibernian Interactive team for the use of the photo.

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