Melbourne City's Celtic defender Jack Hendry could be back quicker than expected

By David Walton

March 2, 2020

Melbourne City manager Erick Mombaerts has stated that Celtic centre-back Jack Hendry could be “five or six weeks” away from returning to action.

Hendry, on loan with the Australian club from Parkhead, picked up a nasty injury no more than a month ago. The defender tore his medial collateral ligament in a match with Adelaide United. Melbourne announced that he was set for an extended period on the treatment table.

The idea was that Hendry returned in the “latter stages” of the season after having surgery. However, it appears as though he’s progressing better than first thought.

Celtic defender Jack Hendry (Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

Speaking in comments published in the Scottish Sun today, City manager Mombaerts said the following:

“Jack is getting better. I hope we will see him in five or six weeks, but I can’t say this for sure. He is in first rehabilitation phase.”

A quicker return would be a major boost for Hendry’s career

This opportunity in Oz is a massive one for Hendry. It’s not only a chance to get himself back up to speed and back playing regularly. It’s also a huge chance for him to impress Celtic manager Neil Lennon ahead of pre-season.

Australia’s A-League season runs until the end of April. After that, the top six clubs qualify for the playoffs, with the top two progressing immediately to the semi-final stage.

Therefore, if Hendry can indeed get himself back for five or six weeks’ time, it would be a major boost for him. It would give him the chance to feature in his club’s most high-profile games of the season.

On loan Celtic defender Hendry (TF-Images/Getty Images)

As things stand, Melbourne City currently sit second in the A-League. They’re three points clear of Perth Glory in second place, but are also 10 behind Sydney FC. Most importantly, however, they’re nine clear of Western Sydney Wanderers who sit seventh. For the teams who sit seventh and below, their season will end in April.

So it looks almost certain that Hendry will play in the playoffs if he can make a quick(ish) return to action. Going by Mombaerts’ timeline, the Celtic man would be back playing in early April. Realistically that could mean that he’s back for the final two or three games of the regular season.

Here’s hoping things continue to go smoothly for Hendry with his recovery from here on out.

Does Jack Hendry have a future at Celtic Park if he gets back on track? How important is it for him to impress in Australia before the season is up? Let us know your thoughts in the discussion forum below.