Celtic manager Neil Lennon has revealed that defender Christopher Jullien will be out for as long as four months after sustaining a knee injury.
The Frenchman collided with a post on Wednesday night against Dundee United and required a stretcher to leave the field.
Lennon’s prior update had been a refusal to rule him out of today’s game, with the defender to be assessed.
That assessment delivered bad news on Friday.
The Bhoys boss told Sky Sports at Ibrox this afternoon (12:25): “He’s a very important player for us and it’s a bad injury.
“So we’re going to lose him for quite a period of time, maybe 3 or 4 months. On the eve of this game, it’s a hammer blow really.”
Celtic will likely now have to enter the transfer market to sign a defender this month.
That’s too long a spell on the sidelines for Jullien. We can’t go without a first-choice centre-half for that period if we are chasing trophies.
Celtic captain update
Lennon also explained his decision to keep captain Scott Brown on the bench today.
The Celtic manager feels the form of Ismaila Soro has been undeniable.
Speaking to Sky Sports (12:25) he said: “Soro has been playing great, It’s always a difficult decision, especially in a big game like this, but just the way the team has been functioning of late, it’s really difficult to leave Ismaila out.
“So he’s got to step up and really enjoy the experience. If he shows the quality he has the last few games he’ll be absolutely fine.”
So far, Soro has been one of our better performers. It appears that Lennon has made the perfect decision.
Celtic have been well on top of Rangers throughout the first half, with just a goal missing.
Hopefully that’s what we’ll find after the interval.