CELTIC left-back Kieran Tierney has been ruled out of action for two months after suffering ankle ligament damage in training.
The hugely talented 19-year-old Scottish international defender has been in superb form this season and had been an ever-present in Brendan Rodgers’ starting line-up before being given a well earned rest for the 4-0 win over Ross County on Wednesday.
Emilio Izaguirre deputised against the Highlanders and will almost certainly face Aberdeen today in the High Noon shoot-out at Pittodrie.
And the experienced Honduran international defender is likely to be in the No.3 slot when the Hoops take on Borussia Monchenchgladbach in the Champions League encounter in Germany on Tuesday. Izaguirre had a fine match in Dingwall and was warmly praised by manager Brendan Rodgers after the midweek victory which pushed Celtic 7 points clear of today’s opponents Aberdeen with Celtic having a home game against Patrick Thistle in hand.
Tierney will also be forced to sit out the other two remaining group games against Barcelona in Glasgow on November 23 and Manchester Ciity at the Etihad stadium on December 6. Unfortunately, the impressive full-back will miss the Betfred League Cup Final against today’s opponents Dons at Hampden on November 27.
The injury is a setback, too, for Scotland boss Gordon Strachan with Tierney ruled out of the World Cup qualifier against England at Wembley on November 11.
Tierney started for the Scots in the 3-0 defeat by Slovakia earlier this month after Hull City’s Andy Robertson, who started his career at Parkhead, sustained a knock in the 1-1 draw against Lithuania in Glasgow.
It could be that two months rest could be a blessing in disguise for a young player who has been so consistent in a hugely demanding environment. Celtic have a very able replacement in Emilio Izaguirre but it could be a little more difficult situation for Gordon Strachan.
The former Celtic boss now has a massive headache for the left-back slot before he names his squad for the crucial confrontation against Gareth Southgate’s team, in a match that Scotland pretty much must win.
With Scott Brown returning, much to the annoyance of Derek Johnstone, and Leigh Griffiths, despite his lack of height, likely to lead the line, Scotland’s chances have increased by adding these two Celts to the likely stating team.
Defeat is likely to cost Scotland a place at the World Cup and Strachan his job so the stakes couldn’t be higher.
And Strachan could be left cursing his luck at the loss of such a special player as Kieran Tierney for the make or break Wembley showdown.