How Celtic winger James Forrest is feeling injury-wise after the winter break

By David Walton

January 23, 2022

Celtic winger James Forrest has confirmed that he’s come back from the winter break feeling much better after a first-half of the campaign plagued by injury.

Forrest suffered a knock that kept him out for 2 months almost immediately after pre-season. He then returned in October only to be soon struck down again in a December clash vs Motherwell [Transfermarkt].

All in all, it’s meant that James had only started 4 times in the league over the first half of the campaign. His 5th came in Monday night’s win over Hibernian. Yet even still he’s managed 3 goals and 3 assists in all competitions, showing just how much of a goal threat he still is.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

And thankfully, the winter break looks to have played a major role in him getting back to full fitness. He’s been talking about how he’s feeling after his injury knocks this term, and it’s clear he’s ready to get back on the horse for Ange Postecoglou.

As quoted by the Herald, James said: “I have a couple of goals in Europe this season but I’ve had a lot of chances in games in the league but just not a goal yet. These wee stats are good, good to get goals and assists and if I keep playing the games I’d like to think I can add goals. 

“Right at the start of the season I felt really good, but then these things can just happen. You have seen it with different players in the squad and it happened with me as well, picking up injuries, it’s just part of the game. I’ve come back a couple of times and I’m feeling really good just now and I just want to go on a wee run by focussing on a game at a time. 

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“The winter break really helped me as I think I missed only three games after that. The two games that got postponed meant I didn’t miss out too much. So the winter break came at a good time for me. It meant I could get back in training for a couple of weeks before playing the other night.”

A big next 5 months awaits for James Forrest ahead of final contract year

Forrest’s season has been plagued by injury so far and it’s a song we’ve heard more than once. For one reason or another, James simply hasn’t been able to ever shrug off injury problems for a consistent period in his career.

The next 5 months are actually bigger than normal for him personally too. His contract at Parkhead expires in the summer of 2023. That means that come the end of the campaign, he’ll only have 1 more year remaining on his current contract.

If you were to ask the support whether Forrest deserves a new one, there would be a split opinion. Last season, for example, James only bagged 4 goals and 1 assist in 17 games – a serious ankle knock playing a big part. His last great season was back in 2019/20, where he managed an incredible 38 direct goal contributions in 47 games [Transfermarkt].

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

James just hasn’t been producing over the last 18 months or so. Injuries have played a big part in that, but it can’t be used as an excuse when it comes to contract renewal discussions. Forrest has been a one-club man and shown great loyalty to Celtic over. the years, but the same can be said both ways.

The Hoops have continued to hand James contract after contract despite consistent injury issues. You feel he needs a run without them if he’s to earn a new deal beyond the summer of 2023.

And considering he’s back feeling fully fit and ready to go, hopefully that opportunity comes for him between now and May.

In other news, The class 64th minute Joe Hart moment highlighted by the Celtic supporters