Celtic boss says Mikey Johnston is aiming to return in "three to five weeks"

By David Walton

August 17, 2020

Celtic boss Neil Lennon has provided supporters with a positive update regarding Mikey Johnston’s recovery status.

Johnston has been out since the competitive action began over two weeks ago. This was down to the winger suffering knee and calf injuries in the past, with the club and player deciding to put him under the knife in a bid to sort out his long-term injury woes.

Celtic winger Mikey Johnston / (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Johnston also missed the final two months of last season as Celtic surged towards nine-in-a-row. However, when he played, he excited many. Despite only making 21 appearances all season, he still managed to come away with an impressive six goals and six assists (Transfermarkt).

And it appears his recovery from surgery is going well. As quote by the Glasgow Times, Lennon said: “Mikey Johnston has had his surgery so we’re looking at a time frame of maybe three to five weeks.”

Celtic lacking depth on the left-side

So far Lennon has fielded Mohamed Elyounoussi at left-wing in Celtic’s first two matches of the season. However, a quick glance at our bench will show no direct replacements.

When Celtic go to a 3-5-2, they have the option of switching between Elyounoussi and Greg Taylor as the left wing-back. But that won’t work in formations such as the 4-2-3-1.

Johnston’s return would offer Celtic that direct replacement and some real energy and pace from the bench. He’s proven he can compete at this level, and was a regular before his injury problems.

Mikey Johnston scores against Rennes (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Therefore, his return will be welcomed by the supporters. It’s unlikely he would come right back and take Elyounoussi’s place, but he provides some much-needed competition.

At worst, going by Lennon’s timeline, Johnston would miss league matches against Dundee United (A), Motherwell (H), Ross County (A), and Livingston (H).

Johnston would also miss key Champions League qualifiers. However, his return schedule would give him plenty of time to return to form before our first Glasgow derby of the season against Rangers.

Hopefully, Mikey has a smooth recovery to help add to our options down that left flank.

In other news, Lennon has also confirmed Albian Ajeti’s status for tomorrow night’s clash against Reykjavik.