Dundee manager James McPake has backed his ex-teammate Martin Boyle to return stronger after the Hibs winger sustained an injury that will see him out until 2020.
The 26-year-old Australian international had just made his return from injury during pre-season and featured in three of the Easter Road side’s League Cup games. However, he re-injured his knee during the match with Elgin City and will now face surgery.
McPake himself was forced to retire due to a serious knee injury and understands more than most how difficult these kinds of setbacks can be, but he is backing his former teammate to return having already proved he can do it once before.
“I was watching the game and I was devastated when I saw it,” he said.
“I worked with him here as a player and I really liked him, he is a good guy and a really good player as well.”
“When I saw that I was praying a wee bit that it wasn’t bad.
“It looked bad at the time, and then you hear the news that he is going for more surgery.
“So, absolutely devastated in that sense, but I think he will be stronger.
“It is probably easy for me to sit here and say that, but he rehabbed his last knee injury and got back into good condition.
“I had heard he was looking really good, that was the first time I had seen him since the injury, but they are a good medical team there.
“The staff, the players, everyone will be behind him because of what he has done at that football club.
“It is a very good football club and they will look after him, but I am devastated for him.
“It is easy for me to sit here and say it, but at the other end of this he will come out even stronger again, and I wish him well in his recovery.
“He will be back I am sure.”
Ex-Dark Blue Boyle had only just returned from an injury sustained during international duty with Australia back in December 2018. That fact will undoubtedly add to the frustration and disappointment at being out again, however McPake believes that getting a taste of football will spur Boyle on.
🆕| @MartinBoyle9 will undergo surgery following the knee injury sustained in Friday's Betfred Cup win over Elgin City.
💚 It goes without saying that Martin has the support of everyone at the club and we can't wait to see him back in action.
— Hibernian FC (@HibernianFC) July 30, 2019
“There’s very dark times,” he said.
“There is a lot of people a lot worse off whether it is with illness or whatever.
“So, I always looked at it that way, but the dark times are quickly forgotten about when you are back on the pitch.
“He got a little taste of that and I am glad.
“It maybe sounds bad, but I am glad it has happened in that way for him that he got a wee taste of being back so he knows that he can get there, and he will feel that he was back because he trained for a long time.
“Although we’ve not seen him on the pitch a lot, there would have been a lot of training went in on the pitch with the boys.
“The bad times are there, but he will come through them.
“I am sure he will, he is strong minded, and you need to be to spend that long at Hibs.
“He will be back, and he will hopefully be sitting in however many months’ time it is and somebody will pose that question to him, ‘what were the dark times like etc.’, and he will say, ‘they were tough, but I am at the other end now’.