James Forrest’s injury was always going to take a bit of time – six to eight weeks to be exact.
Yep, that was how long the initial diagnosis was from manager Neil Lennon. After coming off against Riga back in September, Forrest initially had his foot in a protective boot. But it failed to do the business.
This led to the winger having an operation on the foot before Celtic’s Europa League match with Sparta Prague at Parkhead. Lennon stated that the “best-case scenario” was going to be six to eight weeks. He did admit it could be longer (Sky Sports).
Since that information was sent out, nearly 12 weeks have now passed. We haven’t seen clips of Forrest back in training or any sign that he’s close to being back in the matchday squads again.
Lennon last provided an update on the situation nearly three weeks ago. He said then that Forrest “wasn’t a million miles away’ [Celtic TV]. Yet despite another few weeks having passed since then, Forrest still hasn’t been snapped in training.
James Forrest’s injury has been a huge blow
First off, I’m not saying Forrest being available would’ve solved everything. The chances are he would’ve also struggled to get us going in many of the matches we’ve had this season.
However, you cannot deny his influence on Celtic in general. He’d already managed three direct goal contributions in his first seven matches. Okay so it’s not blistering, but considering the season had just started, there was plenty of time for him to get motoring. Overall, Forrest has 91 goals and 93 assists in 405 appearances [Transfermarkt].
It probably says a lot about the season that fans haven’t been too fussed with this. Yes, we all want James back as soon as possible. But there is a general acceptance that there are a lot more important things to worry about.
So much so that fans haven’t really noticed that he should’ve been back by now. That he’s now missed several matches we could’ve done with his pace and experience in. Another update on where he’s at would be ideal.
He’ll almost certainly return at some stage in the next month or two. But how close actually is he? We still have a derby coming up in March that we could do with him being fully-fit and match-sharp for.
Lennon will get plenty of questions on more important topics tomorrow – that much is certain. But an update on Forrest wouldn’t go amiss considering we’re now almost four weeks on from his original timeframe.