CALLUM McGREGOR faces a week-long guessing game as the burning question follows him all the way to the midday kick-off at Ibrox a week tomorrow.
Will the inspirational Celtic captain be fit to play in what will be a vital derby encounter in the champions’ quest for their twelfth title in 13 years?
Worryingly, the team’s onfield leader hasn’t been seen since being replaced at the interval with teenager Daniel Kelly in the 7-1 win over Dundee at Parkhead on February 28. The 30-year-old key man has been forced to sit out three games – Hearts (0-2), Livingston (4-2) and St Johnstone (3-1).
MAKING A POINT…Brendan Rodgers has instructions for captain Callum McGregor.
Brendan Rodgers will not risk McGregor, who is struggling with a Achilles problem, in West Lothian tomorrow although the Hoops gaffer has admitted the anchorman has “a very good chance” of returning for the third Glasgow confrontation of the campaign.
As he prepared his players for the countdown to the crown with eight league games to play, the Irishman said: “Callum has been out on the field, but we are not risking him in this game.
“Of course, that [the artificial pitch]means we have to think about team selection and the welfare of the player. Obviously from Callum’s perspective, it’s probably too much of a risk for us.
“But he should hopefully rejoin training next week.”

Quizzed if the Scotland international midfielder could be fit in time for Ibrox, Rodgers, speaking to BBC Scotland, answered: “Yes, a very good chance.”

REO’S BACK…Japanese playmaker Reo Hatate could return at Livingston.
Reo Hatate has seen his season decimated with hamstring and calf issues and has made only a cameo appearance in 2024 when he came on as a substitute for Paulo Bernardo in the 71st minute of the 3-0 victory over St Mirren in Paisley on January 2.
The Japanese playmaker is in line for a return at Livi and centre-back Cameron Carter-Vickers, beset with hamstring problems, is expected to get the green light after being left out of the United States squad during the international break.
However, South Korean winger Yang Hyun-jun, who was banned for the past two games after his ludicrous red card at Tynecastle, and Honduran wide Bhoy Luis Palma are fitness doubts.
Rodgers added: “Cameron is fine, Reo is back and available in the squad, which is great news.
“He has worked very hard, he played a bounce game in the time off and he has built up his fitness.”
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