CELTIC could be without onfield leader Callum McGregor for more than TWO months, as CQN warned yesterday.
The Hoops captain had to be helped off the pitch on Saturday night following an aerial clash with Adam King in the 2-1 Scottish Cup fourth round win over Alloa in the punishing, bruising encounter with the third-tier team.
McGregor is awaiting the results of scans amid fears he may have suffered a fractured cheekbone and the midfield anchorman already looks certain to miss Wednesday’s match against Hearts at Tynecastle, Dundee United at Parkhead on Saturday and the visit of Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s Ibrox side four days later.
COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF…Callum McGregor patrols his midfield beat.
Ange Postecoglou is now anxiously waiting for the outcome from the medical staff, but he is facing up to the prospect of his influential captain being sidelined along with 16-goal talisman Kyogo Furuhashi and Scotland international midfielder David Turnbull for a lengthy period.
Tom Rogic and Daizen Maeda will also miss the Premiership triple-header while they are on World Cup duty with Australia and Japan respectively.
If the worst fears are confirmed and the inspirational McGregor is ruled out for eight weeks, the 28-year-old will miss a host of crucial confrontations including the Europa Conference League ties against the Norwegians of Bodo/Glint.
OUCH…Yosuke Ideguchi is on the receiving end of reckless challenge from Alloa’s Muhamed Niang that ended the Japanese midfielder’s participation in the action at the weekend.
McGregor was just one of a trio of Hoops stars left battered and bruised after the tussle with Barry Ferguson’s battlers.
Liel Abada and Yosuke Ideguchi also limped off in the second-half after wayward challenges from Muhamed Niang, the second assault earning the Senegalese international a booking from referee Don Robertson when a red card looked more appropriate.
Postecoglou is hopeful both will be okay for the trip to the capital in midweek.
A grim-faced Hoops boss admitted after the Cup-tie that his skipper could be struggling as he told the Daily Record: “It’s a facial injury, I don’t know what it is, but he’s not a great shape. It’s not going to be short-term, it looked quite significant.”