Vykintas Slivka is a doubt for Hibs’ opening Premiership match against St Mirren in just under a month. It highlights how badly Paul Heckingbottom needs a new midfielder.
Speaking to the Edinburgh Evening News about Slivka, Heckingbottom said it’s going to take a big effort for Slivka to get back in time for the Buddies opener.
The Lithuanian picked up the injury whilst on international duty last month.
He said: ““I don’t know whether Vicky will be ready for the start of the Premiership season. Medically, it’s possible but the longer he is out, the more work he needs to do to get up to speed with the rest of the boys.
“We will be pushing to get him back for that, but the bottom line is he’ll be ready when he’s ready. He needs to do the work before he comes back in.
He can remember getting a bang but then he has carried on as normal. He came back and reported it. We just treated it as a bang but it didn’t settle down and there’s inflammation of the tendon which we need to get rid of.”
Slivka problems highlight a need for Hibs midfield options
Without the Lithuanian international, Hibs’ midfield options are very limited. Scott Allan and Stephen Mallan are the only two decent senior options before you delve into the youth squad with the likes of Josh Campbell.
That’s ok for the Betfred Cup matches. Against the likes of Stirling Albion, they aren’t going to be under sustained attacking pressure. Where Slivka’s miss will come into play is when he starts missing Premiership games.
Hibs will come under pressure at points in those games. Allan and Mallan aren’t defensive minded midfielders, they’ll be overrun.
Hibs haven’t replaced departed midfielders Mark Milligan, Marvin Bartley and Stephane Omeonga. At least two new midfielders are needed as Hibs are down to the bare bones in that department.
Heckingbottom has to make sure some midfield reinforcements arrive before the end of the summer.