McInnes offers Hoban to complete knee rehab with Aberdeen

Tommie Hoban in the red of Aberdeen.
Tommie Hoban in the red of Aberdeen.

Derek McInnes has offered Tommie Hoban the chance to complete his rehab at Pittodrie and earn a potential Dons deal.

Defender Hoban is a free agent having been released by Premier League Watford this summer.

Hoban is battling back from surgery on cruciate ligament damage sustained while on loan with the Dons last season.

Former Republic of Ireland under-21 international Hoban is expected to be sidelined until late October. He is undertaking his rehabilitation privately in England with a physio recommended by his surgeon.

However, McInnes has offered the versatile stopper the opportunity to step up his battle back to fitness with Aberdeen.

McInnes recently admitted he would be keen to sign Hoban if he became a free agent and was fully fit.

He said: “We are there for Tommie if he wants to come here and we can aid him in his recovery.

“Tommie has had a drastic time with injuries and we have offered him the chance, if he wants, where we can pick up on that rehab and help him on his way.

“I loved working with Tommie and thought he was a brilliant person and a very good player.

“Tommie has good ability, real experience and good size.

“He is also very versatile which is an added bonus.”

Derek McInnes.<br />Picture by Scott Baxter

Hoban suffered a tear to the ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) when playing for Aberdeen against St Mirren on February 16.

That injury ended his season and the defender had to undergo subsequent surgery.

It was Hoban’s second major knee operation, having ruptured an anterior cruciate ligament in 2017 while training with Watford.

That saw the defender ruled out for an entire season.

This time the damage done at Pittodrie was to a different knee.

Suffering the knee injury against St Mirren was the latest setback for Hoban.

The defender was only six games into his comeback from surgery on a shoulder injury sustained playing for the Dons against Hibs that ruled him out for five months.

Hoban travelled to Hampden in April to cheer on the Dons in the 3-0 Scottish Cup semi-final loss to Celtic and sat in the stands along with the other injured Dons players.

He recently confirmed to the Evening Express that he would be open to signing for Aberdeen if the opportunity arose.

McInnes said: “Tommie is a long way from being fit yet and it will be October, November time.

“Without wanting to be harsh, it is not the most pressing thing for us at the moment.”

The pressing priority for McInnes is getting his squad ready for the Europa League tie against RoPS Rovaniemi.

The Dons face the Finnish side in the first qualifying round first leg at Pittodrie on July 11.

McInnes has added five signings to his squad ahead of that tie – Craig Bryson (Derby County), Ryan Hedges (Barnsley), Ash Taylor (Northampton Town), Curtis Main (Motherwell) and Jon Gallagher (Atlanta United, on loan until the end of the MLS season on November 10).

McInnes aims to add more signings before the first leg.

He is currently with the Dons in Cork, Republic of Ireland for a week-long training camp at the Fota Island resort.

Aberdeen will face Connah’s Quay Nomads of Wales in a friendly in Cork on Saturday.

Euro opponents RoPS are set to face Honka away in the Veikkausliga.

Victory for second-placed Honka could move them top of the table, while RoPS are languishing in third bottom.

McInnes will have the match tonight scouted.

He said: “RoPS are well into their league season, so we have plenty of games to watch of them.

“We will also get out to Finland to watch them.”