Celtic goalkeeper Vasilis Barkas has been absent from recent match squads because of an ongoing ankle problem, interim manager John Kennedy has confirmed in an interview today.

Barkas has been out of the starting eleven for quite a while, replaced by Scott Bain. However, in recent weeks his absence from the substitutes bench as been notable, with Conor Hazard taking his place.

It led to speculation from Greek journalists that being missing could signal his Celtic career had hit the buffers.

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However, Kennedy has cleared up the confusion.

In a fan media conference today [HomeBhoys], John Kennedy said: “He was injured, he had an ongoing ankle issue. We had to pull him out to try and address it and give him some treatment.

“He’s come in for the last day and a half, he did some of the sessions yesterday, he trained today, so he’s back fit.

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“This season he’s had setbacks along the way at different times. That’s led to a lack of consistency in his training and his work to get him up to speed and develop the way we want.”

The staff at the training centre will now monitor his progress following his training return, with no timeframe given on when he might be available on squad selection.

Still hope for Barkas at Celtic

There’s no real indication that Celtic have given up on Barkas. In fact, Kennedy’s comments today indicate that the club still sees a future for him at Lennoxtown.

Vasilis Barkas Celtic

Celtic goalkeeper Vasilis Barkas / (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Now he’s overcome his latest setback, he can get back to work with Stevie Woods and prepare for next season.

Scott Bain isn’t a viable long-term option for the number one position and, as we discussed yesterday, there are still some out there who have belief Barkas can make it in Scotland.

Fingers crossed, because it’d be a shame to see our investment washed down the drain.

In other news, Celtic are closing in on a deal for striker Kyle Joseph.

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