Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou fears Callum McGregor has suffered a significant injury and will be sidelined beyond the short-term.
The club captain suffered a head knock in the first half of his side’s 2-1 Scottish Cup win over Alloa. The midfielder was immediately substituted and taken for treatment.
While Postecoglou said he didn’t yet have a full report on the damage, he was clear that he expects McGregor to be ruled out for a number of games.
“It’s a facial injury” the Celtic boss said. “I don’t know what it is but he wasn’t in great shape.
“I don’t know, it’s not going to be short-term but as to what it is and the extent, it looked significant.”
The injury blow is the latest in a series to hit Postecoglou’s squad this season. Kyogo Furuhashi is currently sidelined with a hamstring problem that will see him miss key games including the clash with Rangers on February 2.
In addition to the Japanese striker, fellow summer signings Jota and Giorgos Giakoumakis have spent lengthy spells out with injury.
“It’s that sort of season,” Postecoglou said. “We’ve just had challenge after challenge and what we’ve done so far is just got on with it. This is another one.”
The Australian said that McGregor would be a big loss for his side no matter how many games he misses.
“He’s a very important player, not just as what he contributes as a footballer but as a person,” he said.
“I’m gutted for him more than anything, that something like that happens to him.”
Liel Abada and Yosuke Ideguchi also went off injured during the match but Postecoglou thinks both “should be ok”.
The manager was pleased to progress to the next round of the competition and didn’t dwell too much on the details of the match.
He said: “The main thing in cup competitions is to progress and we did that. We created enough opportunities to make it a more comfortable victory.
“It was a difficult pitch for the way we play. We had quite a few guys getting their first significant game time for a while.
“With all that in mind, it was OK. There’s some mitigating factors so I can’t be too hard on the players.
“The most important thing is we are in the next round.”
Defeated Alloa Athletic manager Barry Ferguson said he wants to take the plus points from his side’s showing into their League 1 promotion push.
“The league form not been good enough,” he said. “I am not going to sugar coat it.
“I came here at the start of the season albeit a bit late and it was tough to get the players in.
“I missed out on players that I wanted to get who had signed for other clubs. I still think I have enough quality but we need to start winning games.”