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Hanlon facing frustration in race to regain fitness for significant derby

Paul Hanlon, the Hibernian defender, has been left disappointed by the prospect of missing Sunday's Edinburgh derby as he continues to recover from a knee injury.

He was sidelined ahead of a defeat by St Johnstone last weekend and is not expected to be fully fit in time to face Hearts at Tynecastle.

The fixture holds greater significance since Hibs are able to relegate their rivals officially, depending on results elsewhere. However, his injury - which was sustained during a match with Partick Thistle earlier this month - means that on-loan Arsenal defender Daniel Boateng is likely to play in Hanlon's stead.

"For anyone to get injured it's horrible and I'm not really used to it," said Hanlon, who was named as the Hibernian Supporters Association Player of the Year on Sunday. "I've not had a knee problem like that before so it's kind of new. I'll listen to the pyhsio and hopefully be back soon.

"I've no idea how I did it in the game. I think it was about 25 minutes to go in the Partick game and my knee was nipping a wee bit, it was aching.

"I spoke to the physio but I just iced it and got on with it; by the time Monday came there was a bit of swelling and I've kind of had to take it easier."

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