Ange Postecoglou provides the latest on Celtic pair Chris Jullien and James Forrest

By David Walton

October 3, 2021

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou has provided the latest on Chris Jullien and James Forrest as they continue to recover from their injury problems.

Jullien has been out since December 2020 with a knee injury after undergoing surgery. His prolonged absence comes at a time when Celtic are being hammered and punished for consistent defensive howlers.

Forrest, meanwhile, hasn’t played since the 2-0 win against AZ Alkmaar back in mid-August. He was initially close to returning for the game at Ibrox just over a month ago [The Scotsman]. However, not surprisingly, he picked up another setback in his recovery.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

And Postecoglou has explained where both players are currently at as we prepare to head into the second international break of the season.

As quoted by the Daily Record, the Celtic boss said: “They both have that experience and nous. That’s why it will be great to get them back because they can help us through this challenging period.

“It’s hard to say exactly when they’ll be back. Chris has been working in rehab and we’re hopeful that he’ll start team training after the international break.

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“James is a bit different. He had a minor setback and we just haven’t been able to get him up and running. It’s difficult to have a timeline on it. My initial thoughts were he wouldn’t be too long but it’s become a bit stretched out now. We have to be guided by him and how the injury heals. He’s a player I felt would make a significant contribution. Obviously, that hasn’t happened.”

Chris Jullien and James Forrest returns would ease injury crisis hugely

Celtic’s injury problems are already beginning to ease, and it couldn’t happen quickly enough.

On Thursday night against Bayer Leverkusen, Celtic fans were surprised to see Kyogo Furuhashi and Callum McGregor both feature for long spells. They look good to go ahead of today’s game against Aberdeen.

Meanwhile, new signing Giorgos Giakoumakis also managed a cameo appearance against Bayer to mark his own Parkhead debut. That’s three big first-team players we would hope will make a big impact this season.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

If Celtic can get Jullien and Forrest back in the coming weeks, then all of a sudden it’s no longer a crisis. That would mark five extremely important first-team figures returning to the ranks. Putting Celtic into a similar position to what they were in at the start of the season.

Unfortunately, it sounds as though Forrest in particular will remain sidelined for a bit longer than Jullien. Postecoglou sounds a touch frustrated with how the Scotland international’s recovery is coming along.

Hopefully it won’t be too long before Forrest is back competing with Liel Abada down the right flank. At the very least, Celtic are getting some of their bigger players back on the training pitch once again.

In other news, League debut, midfielder drops out; Celtic predicted XI vs Aberdeen