Mikey Johnston's return timeline mystery as still no sign of Celtic man

By David Walton

September 14, 2021

Celtic winger Mikey Johnston was supposed to return to action after the international break, yet still there appears to be no sign of him.

Johnston has been out since picking up a pre-season injury in the draw against Bristol City. The left-winger has struggled for consistent game-time at the club over the last couple of years. However, it’s fair to say a big chance fell upon his lap earlier this summer.

He was the only left-wing option at the club for a period after the departure of Mohamed Elyounoussi. Yet despite a bright start to pre-season, the injury has set him back badly.

Photo by Craig Williamson/SNS Group via Getty Images

Postecoglou said before the Glasgow Derby against Rangers that he hoped to have Johnston back for after the international break.

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However, Mikey wasn’t part of the matchday squad against Ross County at Celtic Park on Saturday. Once again, he missed out despite the extreme lack of options on the bench.

Interestingly, Postecoglou didn’t mention Johnston in his pre-match presser either. It wasn’t a subject brought up by the media or mentioned by the manager either. Whatever is holding Johnston back so far, it’s yet to be revealed.

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Is Mikey Johnston closing in on a Celtic return?

It could be the case that the initial timeline was a little off. Hopefully that is indeed what’s happening. The last thing we want for him is a further setback.

He’ll be annoyed to see the opportunity to stake his claim for the first-choice left-wing spot having now evaded him. With Jota coming in, it looks as though the Hoops have a new option for the position ahead of an important period of games.

But that’s not to say that the on-loan Benfica winger won’t be rotated at times. Celtic are still in the market for additional cover on the left flank. The sooner Johnston is back, the quicker he’ll get his chance to win his place in the team again.

With such a hectic schedule of games this month, Jota can’t be expected to take part in all of them.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Of course, it will be interesting to see how close to full-fitness Johnston is too. Missing so many weeks of pre-season and the start of the competitive campaign isn’t ideal.

This is a big year for Mikey. A new season under new management with the player now at an age where he needs to be impressing regularly.

The next month could be crucial for his Celtic career. Hopefully, we get a proper update on his injury return timeline soon.

In other news, 3 more players that could leave Celtic in January after 18 summer departures