Celtic defender Andrew Gutman made a productive return from injury last night as he bagged 50 minutes for Cincinnati in their MLS clash against Toronto FC.
Gutman is penned in to be with the Ohio-based side for the rest of the MLS season. However, he suffered the first-ever injury of his career last month when he came off after 55 minutes against New York City.
That led to him missing the club’s next two matches, which ended in defeats. Thankfully, he was deemed fit enough to return to the side last night however, coming off the bench after 40 minutes in their 1-0 loss to the Canadian side.
Yet the Celtic-owned youngster was clearly just relieved to be back on the pitch despite the result.
Speaking to Cincinnati’s official website, Gutman said: “It was great to be back out there. This was my first real injury of my career, so I was pretty gutted not to play the last two games, because I always want to help the team and do everything I can.
“It was great to be back out there and hopefully I can stay healthy and continue out the season. This season, the way it is set up is crazy. It’s not only our team, you see across the league guys are going down, just with the amount of games in such a short amount of time.
“You just got to get recovered as quick as you can, and you got to be doing everything and then some to stay healthy. This season is unlike any other season that anyone will probably play ever again. You just gotta push through it as much as you can, and even if you get injured, the next guy has to be ready to step up. It’s a huge team effort this year.”
Gutman does well against TFC – some more wins needed for Cincinnati
In terms of Gutman’s overall performance yesterday, not many in the Cincinnati support will be complaining. Stat experts WhoScored provided him with a respectable 6.51/10.
In addition to that, the Celtic-owned star managed three successful challenges, along with an interception and clearance to his name. He also managed a couple of successful dribbles, but was caught in possession on occasion as he was dispossessed twice.
For the player himself, he’ll see it as a good run-out after a couple of weeks without a game under his belt. However, even though the left-back is a regular in this Cincinnati side, his team could do with some wins soon.
The defeat to Toronto means that they’ve now been defeated in each of their last four matches, and have only won one of their 14 games all season. Unsurprisingly then, Gutman’s side are only two points clear of bottom side DC United in the Eastern Conference.
The wing-back has generally performed well this season, but he won’t want to bow out in the States with a bottom-placed finish. Even now, the playoffs look a massive stretch, but there’s still an opportunity there for them to push up the table with a couple of victories.
As well as individual performances, you always want to see your loan players getting their just rewards with their team. Hopefully, Gutman’s return can help turn their form around.