Celtic winger James Forrest has suffered a setback in his rehabilitation from injury, manager Neil Lennon has confirmed.
The attacker has been out of action since September and had thought to be on the brink of a return to the Celtic fold.
Lennon has been providing positive injury updates of late and confirmed he had been training at Lennoxtown.
There was even hope that he could have made the match squad for last weekend’s trip to St Johnstone.
However, it appears there’s been a flare-up with his ankle problem and he’s again gone back working on his own at the training centre.
The Bhoys boss said in his press conference today [YouTube]: “He’s not even training with the group. He’s still doing individual rehabilitation work.
“In terms of a timescale, he had a wee bit of a setback on his rehab so we’re just sort of keeping an eye on it and scrutinising it as closely as we can.
“We want him to come back right and fresh and hit the ground running because he’s been out for a long time and it’s a real body blow for him and us.
“I can’t give you a timescale but it shouldn’t be too far in the distant future. We’re hoping he can begin training next week and if that’s the case he might need a week or two to get adjusted to the training sharpness and the cardio work that’s involved with that and then you’ll see him in the squad again.”
James Forrest injury return can’t come quick enough for Celtic
Lennon has been talking up the ability of James Forrest for a few weeks now. No doubt the manager is frustrated he can’t call upon one of his most trusted players.
The Celtic manager even gave his injury as a prime reason we’ve been inconsistent with results this season – an excuse that didn’t wash with some.
No doubt though that the Scotland international’s goal contribution over the last few years has been exceptional.
Having his creative and goalscoring firepower in the team again will give Celtic a real boost in the closing stages of the campaign.
Hopefully we see him on the pitch soon.