Speaking after Saturday’s 2-1 triumph over Motherwell, manager Ange Postecoglou – as per Football Scotland – was unable to provide a positive update regarding the United States international, with the centre-back seemingly facing a race against time to be fit for the midweek trip to Germany.
Asked about any potential returnees for that upcoming meeting, the 57-year-old gave an insight into the potential availability of the former Tottenham Hotspur man – and striker Giorgos Giakoumakis – stating:
“Any players coming back for Leipzig? We’ll see. Hopefully Giakoumakis should be okay. The reports I’ve had so far, and Cameron Carter-Vickers we’ll just sort of see day to day proposition.”
In the case of Carter-Vickers, the 24-year-old has been absent since the draw against Shakhtar Donetsk away in Warsaw prior to the recent international break, ultimately keeping him out of the defeat to St Mirren and this latest victory over the Steelmen.
The title-winning coach will likely be sweating over the fitness of the £6.3m-rated gem at present, particularly with the club already somewhat stretched defensively amid a further injury concern regarding Carl Starfelt.
The Sweden international – alongside Carter-Vickers – had been integral to the club’s Scottish Premiership success last term, with the pair forming an “immense” centre-back partnership, in the words of ex-Hoops striker, Chris Sutton.
It was the latter man who particularly impressed in that pairing, however, with teammate Greg Taylor notably suggesting that he attempts to steer clear of the menacing colossus in training, such is his quality and brilliance in the backline.
Prior to his recent absence, the 6 foot 1 titan had again looked imperious as the real solid foundation in Postecoglou’s side in the early weeks of the new season, recording five clean sheets from his opening six league games and winning an impressive 64% of his total duels.
In his absence, the Old Firm outfit looked particularly shaky in the loss to the Buddies two weeks ago, with the youthful duo of Moritz Jenz and Stephen Welsh having been “all over the place”, in the words of journalist Josh Bunting.
While that pairing were able to help secure victory last time out, it may be somewhat of a worry to have to deploy the same defensive unit for the upcoming clash with Marco Rose’s men, as the Glasgow side look to contend with a ferocious Leipzig forward line containing the likes of Timo Werner and Christopher Nkunku – the two men netting a brace apiece in their triumph over Bochum yesterday.
Having Carter-Vickers in tow would likely make it far easier to meet that challenge, although it is now a nervous wait to see if the ten-cap powerhouse can feature against the Bundesliga side.