The finer points of the short-term contract which will make Kevin Thomson's return to Hibernian official were being sorted out last night after the midfielder had impressed sufficiently while training with the club that he left six years ago.
Time is meant to be a great healer but that might not prove to be quite long enough, with the wounds Thomson left when he took off for Rangers in a £2m move in January 2007 at risk of being reopened now; the midfielder joining James McFadden and Kris Boyd in returning to their first club since the turn of the year. There are elements of the Hibs support who were cut by the then young midfielder's assertion that he would "crawl along the M8 on broken glass" in order to complete his switch to Ibrox. He will need to show that level of dedication and perhaps a bit more if he is to be welcomed back into the fold at Easter Road.
Helping his side to get one over on Hearts would probably help, too, although it is not yet certain if Thomson's deal will be ratified in time for him to make his reappearance in the Edinburgh derby tomorrow, or even if he is yet sharp enough to earn a place in the squad. After all, there is good reason why the 28-year-old, who was released by Middlesbrough at the turn of the year, has been training with Hibs: his career has been brought to its knees by a series of serious injuries.
The need to get back on his feet has allowed Hibs to secure the player on appearance money and bonuses alone, although Pat Fenlon felt he could afford to be quietly confident of Thomson's fitness. "He looks like he's got plenty of hunger and ambition about him," said the Hibs manager. "People ask if he is fit. Well, he's trained really well the last couple of weeks."
Should he be left in the stand tomorrow then the focus will return mainly to Leigh Griffiths. The on-loan Wolves striker – who yesterday won the Clydesdale Bank Premier League Player of the Month award for January – has been the main man for the Leith club and Fenlon believes the forward will now seek to take that influence on to the international stage with Scotland.
"Leigh is a young players who is making real, real progress and I'm sure he'll have plenty of time to play for Scotland," he said.