ANGE POSTECOGLOU has shot down wayward reports Kyogo Furuhashi will be out for remainder of the season.
The Celtic boss acknowledged his 16-goal Japanese striker faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines with his hamstring problem, but forcibly rubbished wild speculation it was all over for the club’s talisman in the second half of the campaign.
Kyogo limped off early in the 3-1 win over St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park on Boxing Day and missed the Premiership restart against Hibs at Parkhead on Monday night when his countrymen Daizen Maeda, with a debut strike in the 2-0 victory, and Reo Hatate, with a Man of the Match display, took centre stage.
OVER AND OUT…Kyogo Furuhashi is helped off the pitch by referee Bobby Madden early in the 3-1 win over St Johnstone in Perth on Boxing Day.
The 27-year-old international hitman may require surgery on the problem, but his manager insists he WILL be back playing at some stage although he cannot put a date on his return to first-team action.
Postecoglou said: “He’s NOT out for the rest of the season, I can assure you of that.
“Kyogo’s injury is more significant than we were hoping it would be and he will be out for a number of weeks.
“It’s not going to be a quick return. I don’t know how long and I don’t want to put a timeframe on it.
“Mainly because of Kyogo himself, plus we are still getting him assessed and we need it to settle before we get a definitive answer on it.
“But he will be out for a number of weeks and that is disappointing for us and also Kyogo.
“He loves playing for this club and he can’t wait to be back out there.
PYRAMID OF PLEASURE…Kyogo Furuhashi celebrates one of his double in the Premier Sports League Cup Final triumph over Hibs at Hampden last month.
“Kyogo is really disappointed and I feel for him because he put his body on the line for us.
“To be fair to him, he wasn’t 100 per cent for the Cup Final, but he scored two goals and helped us win it.
“That is testament to him as a player and a character.
“A lot of people would have taken a different option, so I am gutted for him.”
The Greek-Australian, speaking to the Daily Record, added: “Kyogo did all he could for this football club and I am hoping that because he got the rewards for that Cup Final performance, it’s enough to sustain him through this period.
“He deserves to come back better than ever and he will. Kyogo is that type. Whatever timeframe is put on his recovery, he will beat it.
“He is such a determined person and he loves playing for Celtic.
“The fact he can’t go out and perform is hurting him, but we will provide him with support.
“I am sure whatever recovery time is needed, he will do his best to be back as soon as possible.”
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