Ange Postecoglou confirms Reo Hatate is back in contention for Celtic squad against Hearts
Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou has confirmed that Reo Hatate is fit and available for selection ahead of Sunday’s game against Hearts.
The 24-year-old made a positive start to the new season, putting in some impressive performances during his first pre-season in Glasgow.
Hatate also took his place in the starting line-up for the Bhoys Scottish Premiership opener in a 2-0 victory over Aberdeen.
However, the midfielder was forced off against the Dons after 65 minutes due to injury, being replaced by David Turnbull.
Subsequently, the Japanese internationalist went on to miss the Hoops following two Scottish Premiership fixtures against Ross County and Kilmarnock.
Despite missing Celtic’s last two outings, the injury to Reo Hatate wasn’t thought to be anything serious after Ange Postecoglou confirmed he was working his way through rehab.
The Celtic manager also stated that the former Kawasaki Frontale man missed out on last weekend’s emphatic 5-0 victory over Kilmarnock due to the playing surface at Rugby Park, which could have aggravated his injury knock.
Many fans were expecting to see Celtic’s number 41 make a long-awaited return to action after another full week of training at Lennoxtown.
As stated by @CelticFansTV, speaking to the press ahead of the Hearts game, Postecoglou has confirmed that will be the case with Reo Hatate now fit and available for Sunday.
Another huge injury boost for Ange Postecoglou and Celtic squad.
Coming into the 2022/23 campaign, large sections of the Celtic support were excited to see how Reo Hatate would progress this season after a much-needed extended break over the summer.
The midfielder looked to get off to a great start after his positive showings in pre-season. However, the injury knock led to that momentum slowing down after missing out on the last two competitive fixtures.
With Hatate now set to make his return this weekend, it will provide a huge boost to Ange Postecoglou and the Celtic squad, who now have another quality player available for selection.
It is certainly not what our opposition this weekend would have wanted to hear, especially coming off the back of a tough night in Switzerland on Thursday.
Hatate has also enjoyed some success against Hearts during his first six months at the club, scoring a stunning strike at Tynecastle back in January.
I am sure the midfielder will receive a great reception upon his return to Celtic Park, and he is back in contention at an ideal time for Ange Postecoglou and his staff as the fixture list prepares to ramp up next month.