Among the hardest things about being injured, according to Chris Cadden? Making sure your new team-mates don't mistake you as 'just a guy who's been floating around the training ground for nine months'.

Not exactly easy to do when you can't train or play, but the Hibs right-back now feels his compatriots are now getting a sense of what he's all about. Since he ruptured his achilles tendon in May last year, there have been significant changes in personnel, with no fewer than 14 arriving across the ensuing summer and the recent January window, plus a new manager in Nick Montgomery. 

It's a well-worn narrative that it's the gaffer injured players are hellbent on impressing, but there's just as much professional pride in catching the eye of those you'll be sharing a pitch with.

“Aye, it does make it hard to get to know folk, when you’re not training. That’s probably the hardest thing about being injured, especially with all the changes at the club.

“That was probably the first time a lot of the boys had played with me, two weeks ago. I came into training and, to them, I was just a guy who has been floating around the training ground for nine months! They suddenly realised that this guy is an actual football player! So it was nice to play and show a bit of what I’m about, a little bit.

You’ve got to come in and show everybody, players and coaches, what you can do. When the manager first came in, I think I was in every meeting. He was probably sitting there thinking: ‘Have you not got any rehab to do?’

“I was in those meetings because I wanted to learn as much as I could, take in as much as possible, so it could be seamless when I did get thrown in. But the boys hadn’t seen me play. Because of the changes, it was nice to play with a lot of the new boys, having watched them. I knew what they were about.

“I think they know what I’m about now. I think so. I’m doing the best I can. Hopefully they can see I like a wee overlap or two!"

With Lewis Miller looking unlikely to feature against Rangers on Saturday, Cadden will almost certainly start in Montgomery's back four. Before the international break, he started two and was an early substitute in Hibs' last three matches - a tough ask after so long out, but it provided the opportunity to clear an important psychological hurdle.

“I think that was a big thing," said Cadden. "Ross County away, Rangers in the Cup, they were big games with a lot of nerves. So just to get through those, to feel like I was back, to then play against Livi and get the win, it was good. I feel like I’m back, feel like I’m part of it. When you get a win on the Saturday, it helps you feel as if you’re back involved in something positive."

He's also noticed an upturn in quality. Winter loan signings Myziane Maolida and Emiliano Marcondes have certainly caught the eye, and Cadden confessed it was a sharp adjustment when he rejoined the first team.

“It’s such a good level in training," he said. "The standard of player is really, really up there. So you need to be able to deal with it. I think I adapted well. 

“The recruitment has been really good and the new boys have made an impact. That’s what the gaffer said when he was looking to bring new players in, he wanted them to make an impact in the first 11.

“Myz, Emiliano, even Alfie [Adam Le Fondre] against Livingston, the boys have done really well. Nathan [Moriah-Welsh] and Nectar [Triantis] in the middle of the park too. The standard has been great and it’s good to come in to that quality of player and play with these guys.”

Having worked so tirelessly and for so long to get back fit, big occasions such as Saturday now mean that bit more to the 27-year-old, who now reminds himself to count his blessings every time he's involved in one.

“That’s one thing I have got since I got back," he said. "How much I have missed it. It’s easy to get dragged into moaning about what’s happened and not been done right but I appreciate we have the best job in the world here. I love playing football so when I'm out there I need to enjoy it and do the best I can because I was a long time without it. I missed the Saturday’s, floating around here was tough, so I keep telling myself to appreciate it.”