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McGregor to see specialist as Celtic warn injury is 'not short-term'

The Celtic captain injured his knee in the Champions League defeat to RB Leipzig.

Callum McGregor to see specialist as Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou warns injury is not short-term SNS Group

Celtic expect to learn the extent of Callum McGregor’s injury on Friday but manager Ange Postecoglou is resigned to losing his captain to a long-term recovery period.

McGregor injured his knee during Celtic’s 3-1 defeat to RB Leipzig on Wednesday and he will now see a specialist to determine the extent of the damage.

Postecoglou is not expecting good news and suspects he’ll be missing one of his key players through a busy spell of domestic and European fixtures.

“He’s going to see the specialist this morning so we’ll get some more information hopefully today,” manager Ange Postecoglou said on Friday.

“It’s obviously not just a short-term one but the extent of it, we’ll have to wait and see. I’ll wait and get some accurate information and go from there.”

McGregor has been a virtual ever-present for Celtic under Postecoglou as well as being the captain, and his absence will be keenly felt.

“There’s a reason Callum is the captain,” the manager said. “He’s a fantastic player who contributes to the way we play our football.

“He is influential on and off the field so you can’t just replace him with one person overnight.

“That just doesn’t happen. It’s about other people filling in the breach. We missed him for a few games last season, it’s just something we have to cope with.

“I’m disappointed for Callum more than anything because he’s very influential and he wants to be involved all the time. His performances have been super but we just have to deal with what’s ahead of us.

“The one thing I know about Callum is whatever timeline they give him, he’ll try and come back earlier. That’s what happened last year with his cheek fracture. He got the mask on and played.

“He’s been around long enough to know this is part of being a professional footballer. You’re not always going to play 70 games a year. Injuries will happen. He’s just been unlucky the other night. He’s a professional on and off the field and he’ll tackle his rehab as determined as anyone.”

The Celtic boss has had a number of injuries in his squad to contend with but may have some players back for the trip to face St Johnstone on Saturday. He also said he would give some players “an opportunity” to impress.

“Cameron Carter-Vickers and Aaron Mooy both had a session yesterday and they’ll train this morning so we’ll see how they go,” Postecopglou said.

“Liel Abada is available again after missing midweek. David Turnbull has tonsillitis but we’re hoping that by Tuesday that will have cleared up. We’ll wait and see.

“I’ll see how the boys are after the game but we will make two or three changes.

“We know it’s going to be a challenge again tomorrow so we need to freshen up the team with some guys who are training well. We’ll put them in the team and give them an opportunity and assess it from there.”