Fingers Crossed: “It’s obviously not short-term, but we’re hoping it’s not too long-term,” Ange on Calmac

Ange Postecoglou told Sky Sports this morning that Callum McGregor is set to miss a number of matches for Celtic but the extent of the problem will not be fully understood until later today when the scan report arrives.

The Celtic captain was already suspended for tomorrow trip to Perth after receiving a straight red card in the closing stages of last Saturday’s 2-1 win over Motherwell. His absence in Leipzig on Wednesday night after he was forced off with a knee injury in the first half weakened Celtic and probably was the reason why the team adopted a negative outlook in the second half which was later criticised by the manager.

Oliver Abildgaard was the replacement from the bench in mdiweek but it’s more likely that either Aaron Mooy, who missed the trip to Germany after suffering a slight knock in training, or James McCarthy will start tomorrow.

Ange reckons that others will have to step up to the plate to compensate for the loss of Calmac but he also reckons that however long he’s told he’ll me out for, the Celtic captain will be back ahead of schedule.

“He’s off to see a specialist today, for him to come off it’s fairly significant,” Ange Postecoglou told Sky Sports News this morning. “It’s obviously not short-term, but we’re hoping it’s not too long-term.

“The one thing you know about Callum is whatever timeline they give him, he’ll try and come back earlier. That’s what happened last year with the (cheek) fracture, he got the mask on and played.

“He’s been around long enough to know this is part of being a professional footballer, you’re not always going to play the 70 games a year. Sometimes injuries will happen and he was just a bit unlucky the other night.

“He’s a professional on and off the field and he’ll tackle his rehab as determined as anyone.”

Ange also sounded reluctant at throwing new signing Oliver Abildgaard in a like-for-like replacement for McGregor in the number 6 position, given the Dane’s lack of minutes on the park in recent months. He was the replacement in midweek but as Ange pointed out today he was short on numbers with both Aaron Mooy and David Turnbull missing the trip to Germany.

Photo Trevor Martin

“He’s getting there. I wouldn’t say he’s ready because he’s only sort of played 40 minutes and the other night we were 3-1 down. We are a little bit down in terms of numbers the other night with David Turnbull and Aaron Mooy also missing so was sort of forced there.

“There’s not one person that can replace that, it will be a case of the other guys stepping up and filling the breach.

“We missed him for a few games last year and it’s just stuff we have to cope with. I’m disappointed for Callum more than anything. He’s very influential in the group, he wants to be involved all the time and his performances have been super, but we just have to deal with what’s ahead of us.”

Celtic take on St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park tomorrow lunchtime in the Scottish Premiership and the match is live on Sky Sports and also on Celtic TV for subscribers outside of Britain and Ireland.

About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor, who has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email editor@thecelticstar.co.uk

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