Carter-Vickers 'should be fine' to return for St Johnstone clash

The defender missed the Scottish Cup win over Livingston on Sunday.

Brendan Rodgers says Cameron Carter-Vickers should be fine to face St Johnstone SNS Group

Cameron Carter-Vickers ‘should be fine’ to return to the Celtic team for their game against St Johnstone this weekend.

The Hoops have a chance to go back top of the league if they take all three points against Craig Levein’s side at Parkhead on Saturday with league leaders Rangers not in action until the following day.

And Brendan Rodgers could be handed a boost with the return of the influential defender for the game.

The 26-year-old has had an injury-disrupted campaign since undergoing knee surgery at the end of last term and he sat out Sunday’s Scottish Cup quarter-final victory over Livingston as a “precaution” after feeling a “twinge” in his hamstring.

Despite the 4-2 win the Scottish champions looked vulnerable at the back in Carter-Vickers’ absence and news of his potential return will be welcomed by the support.

And the Celtic manager is optimistic that the USA international will be available for the visit of Saints after being given the all-clear following a scan.

Speaking to Celtic TV Rodgers said: “We will have a look at Cam, I think he should be fine.

“I spoke to Cam at length (on Tuesday), he just feels everything is based from around his knee operation.

“And then also, when you have picked up a few injuries from that, maybe from what is a normal twinge, you get that sensation and think it’s linked to another injury. Thankfully, it doesn’t seem that.

“We’ve had the scan which has come through fine. He’s done some work with the medical team and hopefully he will rejoin the training squad on Thursday and Friday and be available for the weekend.”

Luis Palma and skipper Callum McGregor will remain sidelined by injury until after the international break but Rodgers is hoping his team, who lost their last league game away to Hearts, can get their Premiership title bid back on track with nine games of the season remaining.

Rodgers said: “Craig’s team will be very hard to beat.

“They will be diligent. Even though we should have won the game earlier in the season (in August), we drew 0-0, we missed chances and they showed courage to defend the way they did.

“In the game up there (a 3-1 win in December), the first half wasn’t at our level, that tempo of the game.

“But once we injected that tempo and took it out of our comfort zone, we took the game to a really high level and it was difficult for St Johnstone to stay with us.

“That is the key for us, maintaining that consistency and mentality to keep the game up at a high level. When we get to that point and arrive at that moment then we look a very good team.”

Celtic are currently two points behind their city-rivals at the top of the Premiership as the race for the title heats up.

They also have a Scottish Cup semi-final against Aberdeen at Hampden that will take place next month.

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