CELTIC’S out of favour midfielder Kris Commons could solve his old gaffer Neil Lennon’s midfield headache in January.
Lennon is resigned to losing talisman John McGinn for several months as the former St Mirren player is in desperate need of an operation on his left ankle.
Bravely McGinn has continued to pull on the Hibs jersey but Lennon recognise that the calcified bone on the player’s left ankle is causing damage elsewhere and needs sorted sooner rather than later.
An operation is going to keep the player out for at least two months in a season that is crucial for Lennon as he must get the Easter Road side back into the Premiership. The Scottish Cup holders have around a dozen players out of contract in the summer and Lennon knows he can’t re-negotiate any deals until he knows if he’s got Hibs promoted.
McGinn’s absence is therefore going to be a huge headache for the former Northern Ireland internationalist and he may look to his old club for a short term fix.
Kris Commons enjoyed a hugely successful period at Celtic when Lennon was his manager and the two remain close. This week at the Celtic AGM the current Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers explained that Commons and other players who haven’t had game time this season, should be looking for alternatives in January.
Commons and his family are settled in Scotland and the player isn’t keen on a move down south.
With Hibs’ worries over McGinn’s troublesome left ankle, Commons could be the man to drive the Scottish Cup holders to the Championship title.
Last season Celtic loaned Hibs both Anthony Stokes and Liam Henderson and both played huge roles in bringing the Scottish Cup to Easter Road after a memorable 3-2 victory over Rangers at Hampden.
Speaking about McGinn injury Neil Lennon yesrteday explained:
“It’s a case of managing John. It’s inevitable that he’s going to need surgery. It’s just how long he can go on. He has certain levels of discomfort at the minute but, if you looked at his performance at the weekend, you couldn’t tell. He was unbelievable. He carried the game for us at every opportunity. He was a real driving force,” believes Lennon.
And while Lennon is prepared to leave the decision on when to get the operation done to the player, he realises that things can’t go on as they are for much longer.
“The problem he has is with his left ankle but every now and then he is getting a bit of fluid in the right knee because he is putting a lot of weight on that to compensate. I’m not speculating on when he’s going to go in. It will be John’s decision at the end of the day, fully supported by us. It depends on how much pain or discomfort he is in – not just after games but during the week as well.
There is going to be a cut-off point when he’ll say ‘look gaffer, I can’t’.”
Lennon know just how important McGinn, who has recently been away with Gordon Strachan’s international squad, is to Hibs in this hugely important season for the club.
He’s such an important player for the team but unfortunately this is an issue that needs to be taken care of because it’s not going to get any better.”
Lennon may well have the solution up his sleeve with Kris Commons getting back to playing for his old Celtic boss and to drive Hibs to the title.