Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou has said that both Callum McGregor and Daizen Maeda could make a return in Wednesday’s Old Firm derby against Rangers.
McGregor has been out for almost two weeks after suffering a facial injury during Celtic’s Scottish Cup win over Alloa, while Maeda has been with the Japan national team for their World Cup qualifiers.
It had been expected that both would miss the Premiership clash, which could see Celtic move to the top of the table if they win, but Postecoglou had encouraging news for supporters about both player.
The Celtic boss said he still had a decision to take on McGregor but that the club captain had been training with his teammates at Lennoxtown.
“Cal trained with the team today, but I’m not really sure about tomorrow,” he said. “I’ll make a decision on that later.”
Maeda is travelling back from Japan after coming off the bench in their 2-0 win over Saudi Arabia. Postecoglou thinks he could be fit to play a substitute’s role against Rangers.
“We’ll see how he is,” he said. “He gets in (Wednesday) morning. He played 20 minutes, I haven’t seen the game and we haven’t spoken to him.
“I will probably have a chat with him when he lands and see how he feels. He definitely won’t start, but he has a chance for the squad. We will just see how he is.”
Tom Rogic is also away on international duty but with Australia’s game against Oman taking place on Tuesday afternoon UK time, there’s no prospect of him being back in Glasgow in time to take part in the game.
Celtic did little business on deadline day, with outgoing loans the only activity at the club. Postecoglou had already been active and made his signings earlier in the window, but he did give his thoughts on Rangers’ end of the window signing.
The Ibrox club brought in Aaron Ramsey on loan from Juventus, though the player won’t be fit for Wednesday’s game.
Asked if the high-profile signing was good for the Scottish game, Postecoglou said that Rangers had a good player on their hands and that positive performances were what would count, citing Kyogo Furuhashi as an example.
“He’s a quality player and I still think he is a very good player when you look at the level he has been playing at for the last couple of years,” he said.
“Club wise he hasn’t played a lot, but when he played for the national team in the summer he still looked a very, very good player.
“So it’s good for the league, but ultimately with all these signings, whether they are high profile or not, it comes down to performances.
“No-one had heard of Kyogo before I brought him here but no-one’s going to tell me he’s not good for the Scottish game.”