Neil Lennon has had to deal with a lot in his Celtic career as both player and manager. However, even he wouldn’t have expected three players to be dealing with a virus that has killed so many people.
The trio of Odsonne Edouard, Nir Bitton and Hatem Elhamed all tested positive for Covid-19 recently, and only Edouard is currently at the club. Even though he is back at Celtic, Lennon disclosed details of some of the tests that Edouard has had to go through, and revealed that he won’t be rushing any of the affected players back any time soon.
“Not going to rush anybody back”
“He’s doing various fitness tests, particularly on his heart rate levels, before we can even consider him returning to training. At the minute he’s working up until he reaches about 70-80 percent of his maximum heart rate. I’m not going to rush anyone back. This is a disease, and we don’t know what the after-effects can be from one individual to the next” Lennon said, as quoted by the Daily Record.
Lennon deserves credit for putting his player’s health first, even though they might miss some big games for the club. Health is more important than playing, especially when it comes to something like Covid-19.
Club are dealing with a unique situation
It would be different if it was a normal injury a player had. We all know by now that there is nothing normal about Covid-19. It is a unique situation for a manager to be in, something that even eight months ago wouldn’t have been predicted. That is why the club and Lennon have to be so protective of the players.
Of course, it would be better for Celtic if Edouard was available for the Milan game on Thursday night, and the trip to Aberdeen on Sunday. However, if he doesn’t feel at 100%, then it is better for Celtic to keep the player out of action until he feels fit and ready to go.
Who knows, that might not be for a few weeks yet. That doesn’t matter in all honesty. All that matters is that Edouard – and Bitton and Elhamed – recover fully from this disease. That seems to be Neil Lennon’s view, and he should be applauded for that.