Reo Hatate will miss Celtic vs Kilmarnock

By John McGinley

August 12, 2022

Reo Hatate won’t return to the Celtic squad to face Kilmarnock on Sunday, Ange Postecoglou has confirmed.

67 Hail Hail attended the manager’s press conference today, where Postecoglou covered a range of issues ahead of the third fixture of the season.

He was asked about Hatate’s fitness and said that the Japanese midfielder would be given another week to recover after picking up knocks at home to Aberdeen on the opening day.

Hatate looked particularly sharp in pre-season and everyone will be hoping he’s available for selection again quickly. It sounds like the match at home to Hearts, who he scored a beauty against last season, will be a good opportunity for him.

It means a midfield three of Callum McGregor, David Turnbull and Matt O’Riley is again likely to feature this weekend after their performance away to Ross County.

Celtic had solid control of that fixture in the Highlands despite needing late goals to win, so it’s certainly a central unit that can cause Kilmarnock problems in Ayrshire.

Meanwhile, Stephen Welsh is also facing a late assessment to determine his readiness after training today with the squad at Lennoxtown after illness.

Moritz Jenz featured in Dingwall, scoring a debut goal, while Carl Starfelt is also on the comeback trail after a hamstring injury suffered at the start of the summer.

The manager has options, so there will be no need to risk Welsh if he isn’t up to speed.

In other news, Report: Agreement close on new £29.5m SPFL TV deal; possibly more Celtic broadcasts.