Celtic receive fitness boost as duo return to training ahead of Motherwell clash - but injured quartet absent
Ange Postecoglou will have his player availability list decreased as his side welcome the Steelmen to Parkhead.
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Celtic attacking duo Daizen Maeda and David Turnbull both took part in a training session at the club’s Lennoxtown base yesterday after suffering injury issues during the international break.
Versatile Japan forward Maeda was substituted at half-time in last Friday’s friendly against the United States with a thigh problem and was deemed not fit enough to make the squad for Tuesday’s clash with Ecuador.
Turnbull was forced to withdraw from the Scotland squad prior to the Nations League tie against the Republic of Ireland with an ankle knock after initially reporting for duty.
Both players were assessed on their return and could now be in contention to start against Motherwell at Celtic Park on Saturday after they were filmed training on a video posted on the club’s Twitter account.
Liel Abada also trained with his teammates after recovering from a muscle strain, while Greg Taylor is also available after he floored with a sickness bug.
However, there was no sign of centre-back pairing Cameron-Carter Vickers and Carl Starfelt and forwards Giorgos Giakoumakis and Sead Haksabanovic in the footage.
Giakoumakis was sent for an MRI scan on a leg injury by the Greece national team’s physio department after sitting out of their Nations League match against Cyprus and Northern Ireland.
Head coach Gus Poyet admitted he didn’t expect the former VVV-Venlo frontman to be available for selection this weekend after feeling discomfort with the player understood to be following ‘a personal programme’ under supervision.
Haksabanovic limped off with a foot complaint after 32 minutes during Montenegro’s 2-0 defeat at home to Finland on Monday, with the extent of the problem unknown.
Carter-Vickers pulled out of the USA squad after sustaining a “minor” injury in training prior to the St Mirren game, while Starfelt is continuing his rehabilitation from a knee injury he picked up against Rangers at the start of September.
Despite the uncertainity surrounding the fitness of a number of Ange Postecoglou’s squad, ex-Hoops defender Mark Wilson reckons the Scottish champion have more than enough to emerge victorious as they return to domestic action.
Speaking on Clyde 1’s Superscoreboard last night, he said: “It is never a crisis, they’ve got so much to pick from.
“You want your strongest squad available but Ange Postecoglou was going into these games, when Celtic were on a terrific, quite happy to change things and bring players in.
“They’ve got a few injuries, four of five, and they are missing for the weekend so their bench will be diminished. So, of course it affects you ina certain way, but I’ve no doubt Celtic have got the quality and should be Motherwell easily.
“Their home record speaks for itself, I feel that they’d need a lot more injuries to suggest that that would be in serious jepoardy.”