Alert Ange Postecoglou refuses to rule out the chances of Celtic duo Daizen Maeda and Tom Rogic returning for Wednesday’s clash with Rangers, even if he thinks it’s a long shot.
The attacking duo are out of Saturday’s fixture against Dundee United, having also missed the midweek win at Hearts due to international commitments.
Japan’s Maeda and Australia’s Rogic are on duty for the World Cup and will face their countries’ matches against Saudi Arabia and Oman, respectively, on Tuesday.
Postecoglou have made it clear that having them available for the top-of-the-table Premiership is a long shot due to travel.
More importantly, he also hinted that it would be virtually impossible if Maeda and Rogic played any role in Tuesday’s games for their nations with the Rangers meeting the next day.
But Postecoglou will keep an eye on the situation as he makes sure to cover all bases.
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He explained, “I think they both played the day before. If you both play, you’re not going to play two games in 48 hours or 24 hours.
“It’s not nice. On a manager’s salary, I don’t have a private plane that can bring them here. A lot of that will depend on whether they’ve played.
“I hope Tommy will definitely play because Australia have a great game. Daizen played on Thursday, so a lot will depend on who they play.
“It’s a possibility, but if they played the night before, even if we can get them here in time, it’s still tough.”
Postecoglou are missing key figures like Callum McGregor and David Turnbull due to injury and striker Kyogo Furuhashi will also be out for a long spell.
The Celtic manager updated the position of their Japanese striker, saying: “I said he will be out for several weeks.
“It’s a similar injury to Dave Turnbull and he’s been out for quite some time, so we’re expecting a similar type of recovery.”
However, Postecoglou has made it clear that he is not prepared to go into exact details about Furuhashi or any player regarding the need for operations or anything else.
On whether or not the hitman may need surgery to help his hamstring injury, he said: “I’m not going to talk about people’s medical procedures. That is private business of the people.
“Not that I’m saying he will or won’t, but my job is to tell you when he might come back.
“I have to respect people’s privacy here and people shouldn’t spread rumors and stuff.
“I’m sure you guys wouldn’t want your medical procedures made public and players are no different.”
Postecoglou will have the same team available as the mid-week visit to Tynecastle for Saturday’s meeting with the Tam Courts side.
He said: “Everyone got through the Hearts game. A couple of tired bodies as you would expect, but nothing on the injury front to keep them out.”
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.