Oostende confirm that Celtic defender Jack Hendry has tested positive

By David Walton

January 31, 2021

KV Oostende has confirmed that Celtic defender Jack Hendry has tested positive for Covid-19.

The Belgian outfit announced the news today as they revealed their line-up for this afternoon’s clash against Zulte Waregem. It’s unclear as to what date Hendry tested positive in.

According to health guidance in Belgium, symptomatic individuals must self-isolate for 10 days after testing positive. If they come out of that period without any symptoms, they can exit self-isolation.

In theory then, that should see Hendry back for the clash with Genk in two weeks’ time. Nevertheless, it’s a bitter blow for Hendry, who has had a productive season on loan in Belgium.

So far this term, he’s made 19 appearances as he gets his career back on track [Transfermarkt]. His improvement has been evident this season just by the latest transfer reports alone. Hendry has, for example, been linked with a move to the English Premier League [90Min].

Oostende move exactly what Jack Hendry needed; hopefully a swift recovery

First and foremost, we all wish Jack a swift recovery at 67HailHail. It’s important to remember the human element of the pandemic. Too often at times it feels that only the sporting consequences are taken into account when a player tests positive.

So hopefully he makes a quick return to action this week and will be free to return to what will be a new normal for him. It’s clear he’s loving his time with Oostende, and it’s been exactly the move his career needed.

Celtic fans have been debating the prospect of Hendry coming back to Parkhead. It probably says a lot about where he was in the summer squad-wise that such an impressive season still gets met with skepticism. Goodness knows he made a smart move getting away from the crisis that has been this season.

Celtic man Jack Hendry celebrates with Oostende (Photo by VIRGINIE LEFOUR/BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images)

But when it comes to his long-term future, the Hoops have a major decision to make. Hendry’s contract expires in 2022, meaning come the summer he’ll only have a year remaining on his contract. That leaves Celtic either having to sell him in the summer or risk losing him for nothing a year down the line.

Extending his contract in Glasgow would likely only be an option for Hendry is he was guaranteed more game-time. For me, even though he’s had such a fine renaissance of a season, his return wouldn’t be universally accepted. Many Celtic fans will want more.

Then again, if a new manager comes in this summer, a clean slate could be offered. Regardless, for now, we wish Jack all the best in his recovery.

In other news, Neil Lennon has revisited his post-Ferencvaros rant.