HIBERNIAN defender Darren McGregor is eyeing the the Edinburgh derby as a possible date to return from knee surgery.

Hearts visit Easter Road on the 26th of October and McGregor has revealed that he is using that fixture as an incentive to get himself fit.

“I’m halfway through my fourth week and I feel great. The injury I have is usually six to ten weeks and I keep looking at the derby – that would be bang on six weeks. Nathan Spring and his department are top-notch and have structured a full programme around me.”

This hasn’t been the first knee injury for the former-Rangers man as during his time with St Mirren he ruptured his ACL twice. McGregor, 32, suffered cartilage damage to his left knee in late August but knows that rushing back will only aggravate the injury.

“I feel great just now and if I feel good I will be tapping on his door to ask what he thinks. But I am not wanting to rush. I’m not going to lie, it’s frustrating being out particularly at the moment with so many big games coming up – Aberdeen at Easter Road, Celtic in the semi-final of the Betfred Cup and then the derby.

“However, I won’t be rushing back for the sake of it. The boys are doing well, they went to Ross County and won and kept a clean sheet before coming away from Celtic Park with a draw. At the moment, in the midst of my rehab, I’m concentrating on working hard, building the muscles around the knee and making it stronger.”

In September, Hibs gaffer Neil Lennon said he expected McGregor to be missing for 4-6 weeks after the surgery but insisted Hanlon and Ambrose would be a force to be reckoned with at the heart of the defence.

Hibs currently sit 6th in the Premiership table and would welcome back McGregor’s influence in the backline that has conceded 12 goals.


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