Hibs midfielder Mark Milligan faces being pitched in as a makeshift central defender this weekend after injuries and suspensions have decimated Paul Heckingbottom’s squad.

Darren McGregor’s ban allied to injuries to Ryan Porteous and Darnell Johnson leaves Paul Hanlon as the only recognised central defender available.

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - MARCH 08: Scott Arfield of Rangers is challenged by Mark Milligan of Hibernian during the Ladbrokes Premiership match between Hibernian and Rangers at Easter Road on March 08, 2019 in Edinburgh, United Kingdom.

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

McGregor was sent off in the 1-1 draw with Rangers leaving a temporary hole in the Hibees backline.

The 34-year-old has primarily been used to anchor the Hibs midfield but seems the likely pick to fill in at the back in the clash with Motherwell.

AL AIN, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - JANUARY 21: Mark Milligan of Australia acknowledges the fans following his sides victory after a penalty shoot-out in the AFC Asian Cup round of 16 match between Australia and Uzbekistan at Khalifa Bin Zayed Stadium on January 21, 2019 in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates.

(Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)

Although Hibs fans are more used to seeing him as a midfielder, the Australian does regularly play for his country in defence.

Former Hibs boss Neil Lennon also used him there at times earlier this season.

With a huge amount at stake for Hibs in the clash with the Steelmen, only having one available central defender is far from ideal.

8th March 2019, Easter Road, Edinburgh, Scotland; Ladbrokes Premiership football, Hibernian versus Rangers; Florian Kamberi of Hibernian celebrates after scoring the equaliser to make it 1-1 in the 76th minute with Mark Milligan of Hibernian

 (photo by Alan Rennie/Action Plus via Getty Images)

Heckingbottom’s side are currently two points ahead of Motherwell with nine games left in the campaign – and only four until the split.

A win over the Steelmen would effectively seal the Hibees’ place in the top-six and give them a faint chance to securing European football next season.

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