Hibernian's James McPake to undergo back surgery

Hibernian defender James McPake will undergo surgery on a recurring back injury.

McPake, 29, missed last season's Scottish Cup final defeat by Celtic and has played just six times this term.

"James trained two weeks ago and his back flared up again," manager Terry Butcher told the Hibernian website.

"He was going to have an operation at the end of last season but it was felt perhaps rest over the summer would be good. It hasn't been the case."

McPake was captain under former Easter Road boss Pat Fenlon but has not yet played in one of Butcher's Hibs teams.

In McPake's most recent appearance - Fenlon's last match in charge - the defender was sent off in the Scottish League Cup loss to Hearts .

"He has had quite a few injections this season and it has come back to the scenario where an operation is hopefully going to sort things out and he can get back to action next year," added Butcher.

"We are looking forward to that very much.

"He has been a very good captain for Hibernian Football Club. Now he is not the captain and Liam Craig is, he has helped Liam out enormously with tasks and what to do. He has been fantastic."

Meanwhile, Kevin Thomson is expected to return to training this week after missing the Scottish Cup win at Ross County while fellow midfielder Scott Robertson could be fit for Saturday's Scottish Premiership meeting with Partick Thistle after coming off with a tight hamstring in Dingwall.