CALLUM McGREGOR may have a question to answer at Hampden this afternoon.

The Celtic skipper has not even played an hour of first-team football since being replaced at the interval in the 7-1 romp against Dundee at Parkhead on February 28.

McGregor missed four consecutive games – Hearts (0-2), Livingston (4-2 and 3-0) and St Johnstone (3-1) – before getting just over 30 minutes in the 3-3 draw at Ibrox.

That appearance was followed by an 18-minute outing in the 3-0 home success over St Mirren a week ago.

ENDGAME…Callum McGregor wipes his forehead after the 3-3 stalemate at Ibrox.

Brendan Rodgers must now be pondering if he can risk his 30-year-old onfield leader against Aberdeen in the Scottish Cup semi-final in the wide open spaces of Hampden today.

McGregor, to be blunt, has not shown enough in his brief showings to be guaranteed a starting place in a contest with so much at stake.

In early February, the teams drew 1-1 at Pittodrie where opposing captain Graeme Shinnie was one of the best performers on the pitch and could have been the Dons’ late matchwinner, but was foiled by a superb save from Joe Hart after bursting clear from the middle of the park.

CQN‘s match analyst noted in his report that McGregor had been “less than imposing” in an encounter where the champions toiled to take control of the contest.

Rodgers made no mention of the Scotland international at the media conference yesterday.

FOLLOW THE LEADER…Callum McGregor at his inspirational best.

Instead, the Hoops gaffer was content with rattling off the news that Daizen Maeda was out and Liam Scales was available. He added: “Apart from that, we’re pretty much the same.”

So, no light was shone on that particular subject.

I could be way off base, but I would doubt if McGregor, who has been suffering from Achilles problems, will be in the manager’s starting line-up on this occasion.

I would go with Tomoki Iwata, Matt O’Riley and Reo Hatate and see how the game progresses.

McGregor has a massive role to play before the curtain comes down on this campaign. It would be sheer folly to attempt to hasten his return.


*DON’T miss the unbeatable match report and best action images from Celtic v Aberdeen this afternoon – only in your champion CQN.

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