CELTIC yesterday suffered a double injury blow in rainy Dubai yesterday with both Hatem Elhamed (groin) and Mikey Johnston (thigh) picking up new knocks that will keep them on the sidelines for at least the next few weeks. There’s better news though on the injury front regarding Moi Elyounoussi who looks ready to return and Tom Rogic should be ready to re-join the squad on the training ground next week.
Elhamed has been out of action since stretching his groin in Rome in the Europa League win over Lazio on 7 November and initially targeted the League Cup Final in December as his return date. That never happened and it was thought that the he’d be ready for the post Winter action but has now had another set-back over in Dubai.
Neil Lennon confirmed the news, speaking to the Media in Dubai.
“Elhamed still has a bit of a groin problem. It’s not long term, but it could be a few weeks. He sort of jolted his groin and got a reaction. It’s actually not the same injury, it’s lower down and will maybe mean a couple of weeks.
“He’s been brilliant for me and it’s a bit of a blow, but there’s nothing I can do about it. We have to be patient with it,” Lenny said as reported by Scottish Sun.
Elhamed really impressed in the 2-0 win at Ibrox in September and the Celtic manager possibly feels that not having him available for the two games against the Rangers in December weakened the defence. Jeremie Frimpong started in both those matches but the Celtic manager perhaps sees him playing further forward ahead of Elhamed as he contemplates changing his formation for the remaining fixtures against the Rangers that could go a long way to deciding the destination of the Scottish Premiership this season.
And on new signings, there could be some action today but as yet there’s been no white smoke coming out of the Celtic training camp.