The current injury state of play at Celtic as internationals end
As the international break comes to a close, we take a look at the current state of play at Celtic Park heading into our next phase of games.
The Hoops will take on seven different challenges before the team splits up for the October internationals. It’s fair to say we’ve had mixed luck so far this season when it comes to injury concerns too.
Whether it be new signings or old dependables, we’ve had more players on the treatment table than we would like.
But how well has the last two weeks treated us? Well, let’s take a look and see who’s set to return and who isn’t ahead of Saturday’s game against Ross County:
Potentially Returning Players
It looks as though two of Celtic’s tricky, pacey wingers are set to return to first-team action after the break.
James Forrest has missed our last three matches due to injury. However, he came so close to making our trip to Ibrox before the internationals. Ange Postecoglou stated at the time that he simply didn’t want to throw him in unnecessarily [Glasgow Times]. In theory then, he should be back involved and in contention for Saturday.
And he isn’t the only winger who is set to return to the squad either.
Mikey Johnston injured himself in pre-season despite appearing to turn up in good form. He’s been out ever since, in what should be a season in which he looks to make the left-wing spot his own.
However, Postecoglou flat out stated before the break that Johnston should be back after the break. Or at least that’s what Celtic are hoping for anyway.
Celtic could certainly do with a bit more depth on either flank. And, all things going well, it should be the case we have Forrest and Johnston back with us for the weekend.
Let’s start with the biggest concern of the international break – the injury to Kyogo Furuhashi.
The Japanese sensational came off for his country in a game against China yesterday. As of yet, details of his knee injury haven’t been revealed to the public. However, it was promising to see the player walk off the pitch himself against his international rivals. Whether he’ll be back for Saturday? That feels like a stretch.
Elsewhere, new signing James McCarthy has yet to make much of an impact at Parkhead. After a couple of cameos against Hearts and AZ Alkmaar respectively, he was then struck with a fitness setback. As of yet, he’s still not even managed a half of football.
This largely came down to the fact he hadn’t had a pre-season after being released by Crystal Palace earlier this year. The international break came at a brilliant time for him, and after two weeks of solid graft at Lennoxtown, hopefully he’s available for contention this weekend too.
And finally, Greg Taylor picked up an injury in the Netherlands against AZ Alkmaar that forced him off. He would also miss the Rangers game three days later. The most recent update on him came when Postecoglou said he also wouldn’t join Scotland.
Considering he’s had two weeks of a rest, however, he’s another we would hope has shrugged off his knock.
So there we have it, as many as four players can be considered doubtful this weekend.
Naturally, you could probably add the three deadline day signings into this list too. After all, the manager hasn’t updated us on the fitness levels of Cameron Carter-Vickers, Jota, or Giorgos Giakoumakis. Hopefully, we get some clarity on that later this week.
Celtic are still without towering French centre-back Christopher Jullien. He’s still on an individual programme at the moment, meaning there is likely still a bit to go here.
The same unfortunately goes for Karamoko Dembele. After dazzling in the early stages of pre-season, he suffered a nasty injury at the hands if Bristol City. Postecoglou spoke about him back when he talked up a potential Johnston return.
Unfortunately, he’s still a long-term absentee, with no date yet given for a return [Celtic Youtube].
All in all, our injury problems could be worse. All we can do is hope that Postecoglou is able to name as strong a squad as possible on Saturday.
The break probably came at a good time for the Hoops, with plenty of potential new options available for selection this week.