Hibs’ fans looking forward to top-flight football resuming on 1st August received a boost after Scotland’s national clinical director Professor Jason Leitch claimed that he is “more hopeful” but “still cautious” about the prospect.

The Hibs players will return to the club’s Training Centre in East Lothian on Monday and train with restrictions in place as they work towards starting the new season.

The training sessions will be non-contact to begin with until the country comes out of phase one and begins phase two.

Scottish Cup Quarter Final – Hibernian v Inverness Caledonian Thistle. Easter Road Stadium, Edinburgh, Midlothian, UK. 28/02/2020. Pic shows: Hibs comfortably beat Inverness Caledonian Thistle by 5 goals to 2 to in the quarter final of the Scottish Cup at Easter Road Stadium, Edinburgh. Credit: Ian Jacobs

Last week Professor Leitch cautioned fans to ‘pencil in’ the proposed start date but now believes a drop in the number of cases and the rate of infection make the scheduled start more likely.

He said on BBC Scotland’s popular football programme ‘Off the Ball’: “We’ve had another good week. I am more hopeful this Saturday than I was last Saturday but I’m still cautious. Gradually as we move things seem to be going in the right direction.

“Things are beginning to fall into place that would allow us to put another layer of pencil over that date. But it’s still early days.”