BRENDAN RODGERS will wrap captain Callum McGregor in cotton wool until after the international break.

The team’s inspirational onfield leader will miss his third consecutive game against St Johnstone at Parkhead tomorrow afternoon after being sidelined for the matches against Hearts and Livingston with an Achille problem.

Cameron Carter-Vickers  has been given the go-ahead, but Liam Scales will sit out the visit of Craig Levein’s side.

McGregor now appears to be on course for the Premiership encounter against Livingston in West Lothian on March 30 with the match at Ibrox scheduled for the following weekend.

MIXED FORTUNES…Brendan Rodgers explains Celtic’s latest developments with the press.

Rodgers said: “I expected him to be back after the international break and that is when it will be.

“He’s feeling good, but he needs to get some clearance before getting over this next 10 days. We’ll assess it for the Livingston game when we get back.

“Cameron Carter-Vickers is fine, he’s trained and looked good, so that’s great he’s available. Liam Scales, though will miss the game after picking up a knock in training.

“He’s been so robust and everything about him has been great since coming into the team, so, sadly, he will miss this game because he’s played virtually every other minute.

“He should be back after the international break and Luis Palma is the same. If we can get those players back it gives great options and they are top players who can make the difference for us.”

SITTING IT OUT…Reo Hatate isn’t ready for a first-team return.

Japanese playmaker Hatate has made only 13 appearances in an injury-ravaged campaign and is still out of the running as far as a comeback is concerned.

Rodgers, speaking to Celtic TV, added: “Reo is not an option, we will look at that after the international break.

“He’s back in training with the squad now, but he still has a bit of work to do and he has a few weeks for his actual football fitness.

“But it’s great to have him back in the squad and he’s trained the last few days.”

Centre-back Maik Nawrocki is still out through injury while winger Yang Hyun-jun will be serving the second of his two-game suspension after his red card against Hearts at Tynecastle.

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