Alistair Johnston returned to Celtic training today and could even get game time ahead of the Scottish Cup Final against Inverness Caledonian Thistle, Ange Postecoglou confirmed today.
Johnston has been missing since colliding with Borna Barisic in the semi-final win at Hampden. Anthony Ralston has come in to replace him but after so long on the sidelines himself, hasn’t quite managed to match up to Johnston’s performance levels.
It would be a significant boost to have the Canadian international in the starting eleven for the potential treble-clinching clash against Billy Dodds’ team. And that’s now on the cards.
Alistair Johnston closing in on Celtic return
Speaking in a media conference today, Postecoglou said [Celtic FC]: “Yeah, he trained today, his first session. He trained fine. He won’t play tomorrow against Hibs but all things being equal if he gets through the rest of the week’s training he should be available for the weekend’s game against Aberdeen.
“Hopefully we can get him some game time and then assess it from there. He’s worked really hard with the cup final in mind, to try and get back. He’s come back really well and worked hard with the medical team, looking after himself really well.
“It was good to see him training today and good to have him part of it because he’s been a big part of our second part of the year.”
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Johnston has only made 18 appearances since arriving from CF Montreal in the January transfer window but already feels a part of the furniture. He’s slotted in seamlessly on that right flank, proving to be a strong, physical competitor as well as offering what we need in the opposition half.
He undoubtedly improves the current starting eleven and is in line to be the prime pick at right-back for the 2023/24 season. Having already won a Scottish League Cup and Premiership title, incredibly he could win his third Celtic trophy just a few months into his career. Let’s hope he’s on the pitch for it!