BRENDAN RODGERS explained the absence of Cameron Carter-Vickers from his starting line-up for last night’s 2-1 win over St Mirren at Parkhead.

The team list sparked fears among fans the rock-solid USA World Cup centre-back had suffered a recurrence of the hamstring problem that sidelined him for seven games earlier this season.

However, Rodgers was quick to quell concerns and admitted Carter-Vickers is likely to play in Saturday’s 12.30pm kick-off against Ross County in Dingwall.

The Hoops boss, who brought in Liverpool loanee Nat Phillips for the hard-fought confrontation with Stephen Robinson’s team, told BBC Sportsound: “It was the game plan to bring him out.

HEAD FIRST…Cameron Carter-Vickers ignores the flying boot of Hibs’ Martin Boyle to clear a raid at Easer Road.

“Cameron is still working on his knee and some of the issues around that.

“He’s played a lot of games in a small period, so this is a chance for him to recover and be ready for the weekend and beyond that.”

Phillips lined up alongside Liam Scales as the champions recovered from a shock loss of an early goal to emerge victorious with a late strike from Oh Hyeon-gyu after David Turnbull had claimed the equaliser.

The Scotland international midfielder also blew the chance to give the hosts a half-time advantage when he smacked a penalty-kick off the woodwork.

Long-term absentee Maik Nawrocki, the £4.3million recruit from Legia Warsaw, was on the substitutes’ bench against the Paisley men, but wasn’t required.

Gustaf Lagerbielke, who cost £3million from Elfsborg in August, didn’t make the matchday squad.


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