Ange Postecoglou yesterday ruled out both Mikey Johnston and Karamoko Dembele for at least a month following injuries sustained in that costly 0-0 draw with Bristol City last week.
“We’ve had some early diagnosis, but they have both had fairly significant injuries and will be out for a period of time. They are the kind of players I love having in the team. We don’t want to put a time frame on it but it won’t be less than a month. How much longer? We are waiting for advice. It’s disappointing for both of them. I was looking forward to working with them as they are exciting wingers, the kind of players I love having in the team.
“Unfortunately, that game at Bristol has really cost us, through no one’s fault. One was a bad tackle, and the other an innocuous event. It’s a blow and they have some fairly significant rehab ahead of them. They have youth and time on their side so hopefully they will work hard and get back,” the Celtic manager said at yesterday mainstream media conference.
Johnston, unquestionably a hugely talented player, has seen his development at Celtic stall through a series of injuries running throughout the past few years, and the latest is probably a result of his previous long injury which he picked up at McDiarmid Park early on 2020, the night cameras caught Neil Lennon swearing at the winger.
With Moi Elyounoussi’s second loan spell at Celtic ending, Johnston was seen as the ideal replacement on the left wing but his absence through this latest hamstring injury is going to give Ange Postecoglou a headache ahead of the vital Champions League tie against FC Midtjylland which gets underway this evening.
Niall J has suggested a curveball solution that the Australian might be considering to get the better of his counterpart Bo Henriksen in the away dug-out this evening at Celtic Park.
Karamoko Dembele has waited a while to make a first team break-though and he certainly looked the part towards the end of last season when introduced by the then interim manager John Kennedy. The highly rated youngster is no in the final year of his current Celtic contract and will be looking at making the breakthrough into the first team if he is to stay at the club.
The last thing Karamoko needed was to be subjected to that reckless, needless and cowardly challenge in a friendly match from an experience pro. The referee’s failure to even caution him for what as a straight red card offence added insult to the injury which will see Karamoko out of the side for at least a month.