Midfielder Gary Deegan is aiming to hit the ground running for Hibernian against Motherwell tomorrow.
Deegan suffered a fractured jaw in an alleged assault outside an Edinburgh nightclub in early October while celebrating the win over Dundee. A 27-year-old man was this week charged with assault.
The 24-year-old had made quite an impression since his summer arrival from Coventry and, following the enforced absence, he hopes to resume where he left off if given an opportunity in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League match against Well at Easter Road.
“I’m buzzing to be back in the team,” Deegan said.
“It’s what I love doing every day and I’m really excited to be back on Saturday.
“I thought I was doing reasonably well and getting some consistency into my game. I want to pick up where I left off.
“It’s been nine weeks now, but I was told I could do full contact after six.
“It’s given me a good three weeks of conditioning, training with the lads and full contact. I’m there or thereabouts.”
Irishman Deegan hopes to move on from the incident which has disrupted his season in order to displace Jorge Claros or Tom Taiwo from central midfield ahead of the festive fixtures.
He added: “It’s been challenging. Everyone knows what’s gone on.
“It’s been a difficult period. It’s a chapter now that I want to close in my life and hopefully I’ll come out the other end mentally stronger.
“I love the club, I got off to a great start, I love the city, I love everything about the place.
“Claros and Tom have been doing really well, but all I can keep doing is keep pushing and hopefully I will get the nod.”
Deegan is well aware the next few weeks could be key for Hibs’ season and their bid to finish in the top half of the SPL table.
“We’ve got some crucial games in the Christmas period,” he said.
“Third v fourth with Motherwell, Kilmarnock’s a hard place to go and then we’ve got the big ones, Celtic and Hearts.
“All of them are crucial, but the big ones stand out, Celtic and Hearts. They’re the ones you want to be involved in.
“A top-six finish would be a really good step in the right direction.
“You need to be consistent in the league. Inverness, Motherwell, Aberdeen, we’re all nice and compact in there.
“It keeps changing every week. We’ve got to be on our A-game most weeks and hopefully we can do that on Saturday.”