The trade-off in Celtic having an abundance of international standard footballers

By this stage of an arduous football season, it is a common occurrence for many players to be playing whilst managing injuries. Celtic it appears are no different.

Prior to the international break, Greg Taylor and Cameron Carter-Vickers were not selected by Scotland and USA respectively, with a view being taken their recoveries would be better served being managed by Celtic, however others have been called up for their national teams despite also carrying niggling injuries.

Two of those players Carl Starfelt – who is in the Sweden squad to face Belgium and Azerbaijan – and Daizen Maeda – who was named in the Japan squad for Kirin Cup games with Uruguay and Colombia – have both missed games recently for Celtic but appear to be managing their respective injuries.

In the case of Maeda, the Celtic attacker has told Japanese outlet Hochi that he’s made some training adjustments to manage an ongoing knee injury, stating “I have adjusted for about an hour by cycling and jogging before training. I’m going to make adjustments so that I can make it in time for games.”

 Photo Steve Welsh

Meanwhile Carl Starfelt’s national boss Janne Andersson appeared bullish about Starfelt’s injury claiming, as reported in Football Scotland – “The forecast with Carl Starfelt is quite positive. He should be available otherwise I would not have called him.”

With Celtic already having ongoing injury concerns with Reo Hatate, who left the field in the first half of Celtic’s 3-1 win over Hibs at the weekend with what appeared to be a hamstring injury, and Liel Abada initially raising fears as to a possible quad tear, which now appears to have been downgraded but will still require the results of an MRI scan today to confirm the severity of the injury, it appears Ange Postecoglou is likely to be on tenterhooks over the remainder of the international break. Much like the rest of us really.

Liel Abada – Photo Kenny Ramsay

That said, playing through varying degrees of the pain barrier is very much a common occurrence after months of playing almost non-stop football and it appears in most instances Celtic, alongside open communication with the respective national teams, are managing those players niggling concerns just fine.

Now we just need those carrying injuries to come through two international fixtures unscathed and return to Celtic in good enough nick to contribute to a title run in and a tilt at a domestic trophy clean sweep. Don’t you just hate international windows?

However, I guess if you want international standard footballers representing your football club the trade-off is high levels of anxiety until they report to training at Lennoxtown with a clean bill of health.

Niall J


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About Author

As a Bellshill Bhoy I was taken to my first Celtic game in the summer of 1987. It was Billy McNeill’s return to Celtic Park as manager and Celtic lost 5-1 to Arsenal . I thought I was a jinx, I think my Grandfather might have thought the same. It was the finest gift anyone ever gave me when he walked me through Parkhead's gates.

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