Neil Lennon has revealed that he’s hopeful Callum McGregor returns to training this week.
The Celtic manager was speaking to the BBC after a stale 0-0 home draw at home to Aberdeen. It was the first time Celtic had dropped points at Parkhead this season. No ground was lost in the title race, but the Hoops missed the chance to go 10 points clear of Rangers.
McGregor picked up a calf knock in the 1-0 defeat in Valencia. Despite finishing the game, the Scotland international hasn’t been seen since. It was his 54th appearance of the season for both club and country too.
Lennon, however, revealed to the BBC that McGregor was close to a return to training. He also stated that the squad was “very light” due to the injuries plaguing the team.
Celtic clearly desperate to have McGregor back
Nir Bitton and Scott Brown had been performing well in Celtic’s first two games under Lennon. Wins at Hearts and Hibernian were enough for supporters to take Lenny back in with plenty of love.
But there’s no denying that against Aberdeen they found themselves over-run. Brown had a positive outing on the day, but Bitton struggled as he got far too frustrated the longer the game went on.
The Israeli committed several needless fouls and played plenty of stray passes that the Dons picked up on. He couldn’t make an influence on the game, and showed why McGregor is so influential.
The Scotland international has the energy and pace to hurt teams from midfield. Had he played yesterday, the chances are Celtic would’ve won the match comfortably. Such is his energy in the engine room, he’s an invaluable asset for Celtic and can’t be replaced by anyone in the squad.
When Bitton and Brown play as a partnership, there’s a lack of urgency and pace there. That’s what makes McGregor’s potential return to training extremely positive.
Next up for Celtic is a trip to Dens Park to face Dundee. A victory there is essential before the home match against Rangers – a clash that could all but seal the title.
But if the Hoops are going to win both games, they need McGregor’s energy back in the engine room. Here’s hoping he progresses well over the next week or two in training and is set for a return soon.