James Forrest back training with Celtic as Ange Postecoglou's hopes met

By Euan Davidson

October 26, 2021

James Forrest has been snapped by Celtic photographers as he returned to training with the Bhoys.

Forrest started the season in fine form, but was taken off against Livingston. He missed most of last season with an ankle injury, and it looked grim when the winger was taken off in Celtic’s last league defeat.

However, following Ange Postecoglou’s comments about Forrest returning to training this week, the Scotland international appeared in a number of pictures shared by the club this afternoon [Celtic FC].

Alongside another long-term absentee in Christopher Jullien, Forrest can be seen running through drills on a drizzly morning at Lennoxtown.

With a significant number of games coming thick and fast over the next month, it’s uncertain when Forrest will make his on-field comeback. However, it’d certainly be welcome, in a team with plenty of attacking options.

Forrest played on the left for some of the early part of this season. However, it’s on his more familiar right side where he’ll likely see action. Liel Abada, who’s made an excellent start to life at Celtic, has looked tired in recent games. Jota and Kyogo can play on either the right or left, with Giorgos Giakoumakis emerging as a central threat.

Anton McElhone’s influence at Celtic is already being felt

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Anton McElhone’s influence at Celtic is already being felt
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Fantastic to see James Forrest back in training for Celtic

Still perennially under-appreciated, Forrest has been one of our most important players for around a decade. He’s closing in on 100 goals and 100 assists for Celtic, a quite incredible achievement when – and not if – it happens for him.

Also, it’s exciting to imagine someone with Forrest’s end product supplying for the talented Celtic front-line. Even without him, the chances have come in bunches, but a clinical Forrest makes a significant difference.

Working with Anton McElhone, it’s important that Forrest isn’t rushed back. Firstly because he doesn’t need to be, but secondly because, at 30, there’s probably more risk involved in aggravating any of his previous injuries.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Coming into his Autumn years, any more injury lay-offs would be hugely frustrating for Forrest, the club and the supporters. With his unique running style and his pace, he’s a delight to see on the wing for Celtic.

From Postecoglou’s perspective, it’s great that he’s able to make these kind of projections about recovery. Already, you can notice a difference in the physical conditioning of our players.

McElhone isn’t solely responsible for that, but it’s clear standards have improved. Hopefully Forrest, like Mikey Johnston before him, can reap the benefits of the new sports science regime.

Read more: Celtic captain McGregor picks Aberdeen win as pivotal moment under Ange