"Gutted"; Stephen Welsh injury sees Celtic fans unite in concern

By David Walton

February 11, 2021

Last night’s injury to Stephen Welsh has seen the Celtic supporters unite in concern.

It was the only real downside to the Hoops’ 4-0 romp at St Mirren. Everything else went perfectly, but for Welsh’s 68th-minute ankle knock.

It looked like a nasty challenge from St Mirren’s Jonathan Obika. There’s plenty of debate over whether a yellow or red card was the right punishment. Indeed, the striker landed the top of his foot right on Welsh’s ankle, and it distorted in an uncomfortable manner. You can see the incident for yourself below:

https://twitter.com/GTFYB/status/1359786912962199552

Many may feel a yellow was the correct punishment. Especially considering the bottom half of Obika’s book remains on the surface. It wasn’t a stamp by any means, but whether it was dangerous is another matter.

Regardless, we’re not in the business of getting people sent off. There didn’t look to be a great deal of intent, so there will hardly be an outcry if it isn’t pulled up.

Stephen Welsh injury a nasty blow for Celtic

But it couldn’t have come at a worse time. Just when it looked as though the young Lennoxtown graduate was set to break into the first-team consistently.

Fortunately, Neil Lennon has provided Celtic fans with a promise to put Welsh back into the squad when fit [Daily Record]. That’s a massive boost for the supporters and indeed the player himself.

However, a timeline for his knock hasn’t yet been revealed. It’s clear there will need to be some follow-up tests before a definitive date can be put on his return to action. All we can do in the meantime is hope that it isn’t as serious as it first looked.

Stephen Welsh picked up an injury during St Mirren vs Celtic (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

In terms of Welsh’s performance last night, it was solid enough. He was developing that partnership with Kristoffer Ajer extremely well, and he was winning plenty of aerial duels whilst keeping a lid on Obika’s threat.

If we’re being overly-critical, he did allow some slack passes to go straight to the opposition. But it’s times like these in which we must stick by the young players like Welsh. We have to realise they aren’t the finished article and mistakes will indeed be made.

For now, of course, all focus will go on his recovery. And the impact of his loss was clear to see from the Celtic fans’ reaction to the incident:

In other news, Lennon has hailed seven of his Celtic stars from last night, believing one looked like “a different player”.