Six Celtic players face anxious wait after positive test in Scotland camp

By David Walton

June 2, 2021

As many as six Celtic players now face an anxious wait ahead of Euro 2020 after a Scotland player tested positive for Covid.

John Fleck yesterday produced the unfortunate test. That means he’ll now have to self-isolate for 10 days. As of yet, there have been no news of any close contacts emerging from the situation.

The incubation period for Covid can be anywhere between 2-14 days. Therefore, there’s a chance those who have come into contact with Fleck could still test positive over the next two weeks. It’s not ideal preparation for Euro 2020, with Scotland due to face the Netherlands and Luxembourg in two warm-up friendlies. Their Euro 2020 campaign kicks off on June 14th.

A Hampden source has told the Daily Record that the next three days in particular will be crucial, and that the squad all tested negative yesterday morning:

“The next three days will be critical. The squad all tested negative on Tuesday morning but the medical team will want to see another round of negatives before the Holland game and again the following day before they can relax.

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“Only at that point will they feel the risk of spread has been reduced so for the time being it’s a code red situation for everyone.”

Celtic players won’t want Covid binning their Scotland dream

The Daily Record claims that Scotland officials are bracing themselves for more players testing positive. If they do, it’ll mean they have to go into a 10-day isolation period, missing both warm-up matches and potentially Euro 2020 itself dependent on the date they test.

Celtic have Greg Taylor, Jack Hendry, David Turnbull, Callum McGregor, Ryan Christie, and James Forrest all currently with the squad. Christie has already suffered from the close contact rule this season after he was made to miss crucial Celtic games thanks to Stuart Armstrong’s positive test back in October.

But it doesn’t truly matter when Covid strikes. If it were to happen today, yes they would be back in time for the Euros, but will they be as sharp? Having to self-isolate inside for 10 days, regardless of whatever physical equipment they may have, isn’t ideal. It robs them of the vital pre-tournament work Steve Clarke’s side are currently doing.

Ryan Christie celebrates for Scotland / (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Therefore, whilst they may still get to go and be available for all of the games, it’ll push them down the pecking order in the manager’s eyes.

So fingers crossed none of the Celtic boys manage to pick it up. Or anyone for that matter. This is a huge year for this group of Scotland players, and for Covid to potentially rip it way from some of them would be heartbreaking.

The next few days, however, will be extremely interesting.

In other news, Celtic have been given a reported boost in any potential Josh Doig pursuit.