The challenge on Emilio Izaguirre in the Celtic vs Hibernian clash was naughty if you’re being kind.
Fortunately, however, Brendan Rodgers has confirmed that the Honduran left-back should be “fine” in a few days.
The Hoops secured a massive three points against Eddie May’s Hibs. But the only dark cloud that hovered over Parkhead after the game came in the form of Izzy being stretchered off. That was thanks to a poor challenge from Hibs debutant Darnell Johnson.
The immediate fears for Hoops supporters would’ve been that Izaguirre was subsequently out for a substantial period of time. With Kieran Tierney only just back training outside individually, Celtic could easily have been without a recognised left-back.
But Rodgers moved to ease supporter concerns after the game. Speaking to the official Celtic Twitter account post-match, Rodgers confirmed the injury perhaps isn’t as bad as it first looked.
🗣️ BR on Emilio Izaguirre: "It was a clumsy challenge on him. The medical team tell me they think he's got away with it, little bit sore but should be fine in a few days." #CELHIB
— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) February 6, 2019
A massive relief for Celtic supporters
This is absolutely huge news for Celtic. Considering the momentum they’re building up after securing their sixth win in-a-row, they don’t need another injury setback.
Despite the fact Izaguirre hasn’t been anywhere near consistent this season, he’s the strongest available option in his position. Losing him at this stage would see the likes of Jonny Hayes likely return to the fold. That simply isn’t an option at this stage of the game.
The challenge on the Honduran, however, was a shocker. Johnson only came on as a second-half sub for Hibs, and the reckless nature of the challenge should be pulled up by the SFA Compliance Officer Clare Whyte.
The main thing for Celtic, however, is that Izzy is likely to be good to go soon. Whether he’s risked during Sunday’s Scottish Cup visit of St Johnstone is still unclear.
Despite the previous victories against Saints, they remain a capable side, and Celtic have to treat them with the proper level of respect. That could be enough for Rodgers to put Izaguirre in there should the injury not be severe.