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No golf for Hibernian midfielder Joe Newell as he lets injured shoulder heal

Celtic v Hibernian – Scottish Premiership – Celtic Park
(Image credit: Jane Barlow)

Jack Ross hopes Joe Newell will be back in the swing of things soon enough after the golf-enthusiast injured his shoulder against Hamilton.

The midfielder had to be replaced at half-time as Hibs claimed a 3-2 win over Hamilton on Friday night after falling awkwardly.

Thankfully for boss Ross, the former Peterborough and Rotherham player has suffered no major damage.

And he expects to see the 27-year-old back in a green jersey before he’s back on the greens of his local golf course.

He said: “Joe’s arm is in a sling at the moment but there’s no dislocation so I think he’s maybe just got some muscular damage around the shoulder.

“We have two weeks until the next league game so hopefully that will give it enough time to settle. It should also keep him off the golf course in the meantime which is a plus.”

Newell’s place was taken by Melker Hallberg as the Swede was handed a chance to stake a claim for a more regular slot.

The former Udinese and Hammarby midfielder has started just once this season but played his part in the Accies’ triumph as he put over the cross which led to Paul Hanlon’s winner.

And Ross has promised him there will be more action over the next couple of weeks as Hibs kick-off their Betfred Cup campaign against the two mini Rangers – Brora and Cove – ahead of a trip to Forfar.

“I was pleased with him,” said Ross.

“Melker is a manager’s dream in the respect of how he trains every day and how he conducts himself. He has a willingness to be ready to play.

“People forget he was good for me when I first came to the club last season. He was excellent in that early part with the role he played.

“He will be pleased he was on the park last night and played a part. We’re going to need to make use of the squad we have, particularly over these next three games in the Betfred Cup because of the number of players we’ve got available to us.”

Hamilton had their preparations rocked again this week when a unnamed player was forced to self-isolate after testing positive for coronavirus.

Regular number one Ryan Fulton was nowhere to be seen in Leith with young goalkeeper Kyle Gourlay thrown in for a first top-flight start.

It is the second time in a fortnight that Brian Rice has seen his squad hit by Covid-19 cases and the Accies boss – who had to replace Shaun Want early as he was sick on the pitch – was left to lament his team’s bad luck as they fell three goals down before a comeback attempt in the final 15 minutes proved too little too late.

“These things just seem to keep happening to us,” he said.

“It’s very disruptive. Training was cancelled again on Tuesday, then it was social-distanced training after that. We had no goalkeepers at training either.

“It’s happened to us this week for the second time and it will happen to other clubs, so we have no qualms about it. We just get on with it.

“I think Shaun was sick on the pitch. I don’t know if he had a bug or something but he started the game really poorly and that spread through the team.

“Kyle made a few good saves on his debut too and that’s what he’s there for. That’s why he’s at this club. If he’s called upon he needs to step in.”