‘We’ll see’ - Brendan Rodgers gives key Celtic injury update for Livingston amid centre-back fitness farce

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Brendan Rodgers brought in Nat Phillips to cover for injuries to key defenders but is now sweating the fitness of the on-loan Liverpool man.

On Thursday Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers was still unsure whether centre-back Nat Phillips would have recovered in time from an ankle injury to feature against Livingston in Saturday's early kick-off in the Scottish Premier League.

The Hoops boss suggested that a decision on the 26-year-old's fitness would be made on Friday night with the defender touch-and-go for the weekend. Phillips suffered an ankle injury as he made his Celtic debut against Dundee last week and had to be hooked off at half time. The on-loan Liverpool man wasn't in the squad for the mid-week Champions League meeting with Feyenoord.

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Rodgers said: “We’ll see how Nat Phillips is; he obviously rolled his ankle quite badly last week. So we’ll see how he is; we still have another 24 hours before we make the team.”

The injury to Phillips is a blow for Celtic, who brought in the Englishman on loan as emergency cover for the already injured Cameron Carter-Vickers, Maik Nawrocki and Stephen Welsh. All three of those names are still nursing their respective niggles and won't feature against Livingston.

Rodgers did hint at a return date for Carter-Vickers, who is a key part of the Celtic team, however supporters will have to wait a couple more weeks to see the 25-year-old back in action. Rodgers said: "It's early October so he's still a wee bit away.”

Nat Phillips is touch-and-go for the weekend. (Image: Getty Images)Nat Phillips is touch-and-go for the weekend. (Image: Getty Images)
Nat Phillips is touch-and-go for the weekend. (Image: Getty Images)

Fellow defneder Nawrocki is then expected to return a few weeks later in mid-October while neither Welsh or Abada will be in action this side of Christmas.

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Reo Hatate is on his way back to full match fitness and picked up some vital minutes in the disappointing loss against Feyenoord.

There are fewer concerns for hosts Livingston. Andrew Shinnie had been nursing an injury but was fit enough to start in the centre of the park and complete 90 minutes against Ross County last weekend, so expected to line up against Celtic on Saturday.

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