CELTIC’S top scorer Kyogo Furuhashi is facing a fitness race to be fit for the third Glasgow derby of the season at Ibrox on Sunday April 3.

The team’s talismanic striker has not played this year and his last appearance came on Boxing Day in Perth where he limped off early with a hamstring problem in the 3-1 win over St Johnstone.

Kyogo, who has snapped up 16 goals since his £4.6million summer arrival from Vissel Kobe, will sit out his twelfth successive game when the Hoops take on Hibs at Easter Road in the High Noon shoot-out tomorrow.

And there could be no sign of the pacy Japanese hitman when the next encounter with Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side comes around in FIVE weeks’ time.

SO CLOSE…Kyogo Furuhashi fires in a shot which was scarmbled clear by keeper Robby McCrorie at Ibrox in August.

Hajime Moriyasu, his international team boss, admitted yesterday he had spoken to Celtic’s Far East quartet as he prepares for next month’s World Cup qualifiers against Australia and Vietnam and revealed the player was “doing well” in his rehabilitation, as reported in CQN.

However, Ange Postecoglou later emphasised the fans’ favourite “is nowhere near it”.

Kyogo was already forced onto the sidelines earlier in the campaign when he was injured on international duty against China in September and sat out five consecutive games.

His last goal was the Premier Sports League Cup winner against Hibs on December 19 when he scored with an exquisite first-time lob to add to his equaliser shortly beforehand.

Midfielder David Turnbull didn’t even last the first-half against the Edinburgh outfit at Hampden and the midfielder has not been seen since being helped off as his team-mates lifted the first piece of domestic silverware.

OH NO, KYGO…Celtic hitman Furuhashi shows his disappointment.

However, the Scotland international playmaker is ahead of his team-mate in the race to return for the crucial Premiership run-in and the Scottish Cup-ties with the quarter-final meeting against Dundee United at Tannadice being confirmed as Monday evening March 14.

Postecoglou, speaking to the Daily Record, fired out a short, sharp injury update on the pair and said: “Turnbull is almost back training, but Kyogo is nowhere near it.”

Celtic take on Hibs for the second time in the league this season and have won both the previous confrontations, 3-1 in the capital where Kyogo, Anthony Ralston and Cameron Carter-Vickers scored the goals and strikes from Daizen Maeda and Josip Juranvovic, with a sweet penalty-kick, gave the Hoops a 2-0 success in Glasgow.

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