Hibernian assistant Jamie McAllister revealed that manager Lee Johnson will still have plenty of input in the team’s preparations for Saturday’s game at home to Kilmarnock despite suffering a health scare over the past week.
The Easter Road boss underwent emergency surgery on Thursday to remove his gall bladder after feeling unwell.
He is now out of hospital but will not be at Easter Road this weekend, with McAllister, Adam Owen and David Gray taking charge in his absence.
“I spoke to Lee yesterday after his operation and today, and he’s recovering well,” McAllister said at Hibs’ pre-match media briefing on Friday. “He’s been unwell for the last 10 days or so, so he knew something wasn’t right.
“He hadn’t been sleeping properly and had stomach aches and different things, and there was an infection there. The operation was only supposed to take an hour and a half but it took almost four hours. He was a bit groggy yesterday when I spoke to him but he was bubbly today.”
McAllister will remain in regular contact with Johnson regarding Saturday’s match.
“We’re in charge and it’s up to us to get the boys ready but it’ll take more than an operation to stop Lee giving us instructions!” he said.
“He’s been doing what he can. I’ve been trying to tell him to relax and let us take care of it but that’s just how he is. I’ve been in constant dialogue with him.
“I’m sure he’ll try and get to the game but he won’t be allowed. He’s out of hospital but even then they were trying to keep him in for the next couple of days. He managed to work his magic and get home!”
Despite being in surgery on transfer deadline day, Johnson was still able to influence dealings from his hospital bed as the Hibees recruited teenage Manchester United defender Will Fish, Ukrainian striker Mykola Kukharevych and – pending approval from the authorities – Swindon striker Harry McKirdy right at the end of the window.
“Lee was constantly involved in the deadline day transfers,” said McAllister. “He had the final say on everything. You can’t keep him down, I think he was getting in trouble for using his phone in the hospital. We were communicating with him all day to get the deals done.”
McKirdy’s arrival from Swindon still needs to be ratified by FIFA after the Sky Bet League Two club were late in filing paperwork. The striker will not be able to face Killie this weekend.
“We’re trying to bring him into the club and we’re just waiting on clearance from FIFA,” said McAllister. “That’s ongoing with the club, we’re just waiting to hear back.
“I think there are a few things to go through but the people higher up at the club are dealing with it. I’ve not got enough detail on that to comment on it. I’m sure it will get resolved.”