Callum McGregor – “We have to be sensible,” Brendan Rodgers

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers has insisted neither he nor the backroom staff at the club are willing to put Callum McGregor’s long-term fitness at risk for Sunday’s Ibrox Showdown.

The Scotland international has been sidelined for several weeks now with an achillies problem which caused him to be removed from the team during our 7-1 rout of Dundee at Celtic Park.

The midfield Maestro has played a helluva lot of games for Celtic for some years now and it does always cause a flare-up in his body at this time of the year admittedly. It’s a testament to McGregor and his professionalism that he is always available for selection, both pre and post-captaincy at Parkhead. It is creating an issue though as many supporters have called for the elegant operator to be tested every so often throughout the season, yet to no avail.

This latest issue has meant he’s missed a considerable amount of football for the club during a season which we have really struggled to have our top stars all fight and fighting together regularly. Reo Hatate and Cameron Carter-Vickers have both been missing for spells this campaign, whilst Daizen Maeda, Alistair Johnston and Greg Taylor have all missed matches too due to one reason or another. But McGregor’ s absence has been felt the most badly and that cannot be understated.

Cal Mac is the beating heart of the side and when he is not there, we just don’t operate the same. His in-game knowledge and experience and know-how are crucial in making this Hoops side tick. People are clamouring for the captain to be back in from the start on Sunday afternoon, but Rodgers has revealed they will make a last-minute call on his overall health and weather he should start the match, citing it as more fruitful to keep him on course for full recovery if need be.

“He has just got one more day to get through,” he said via Sky Sports Scotland. “He has made a remarkable recovery. He is obviously not match fit because he has been out for a while but we are hoping that he will be involved in the game.

“He has probably come back 3-4 weeks ahead of schedule so that shows you the work and professionalism that he puts into his preparations. All being well he gets through Saturday and we’ll have a clean bill of health for the first time all season.

“We wouldn’t risk him for this game. We have to be sensible. It’s not like it’s a cup final as there are still more games to come which we hope will all be important. But we have a sense where he is at and can take it from there.”

Paul Gillespie

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About Author

I'm a Garngad Bhoy through and through. My first ever Celtic game was a friendly against Italian side Parma at Celtic Park, in 2002. Currently a student of English Literature and Education at the University of Strathclyde for my sins. Favourite game would be a toss up between beating Manchester United with that Naka freekick, or the game against the Oldco when Hesselink scored in the dying seconds. I'm still convinced Cal Mac is wasted playing that far back.

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