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Celtic suffer James McCarthy injury blow

Scottish champions Celtic have been dealt a setback ahead of tonight’s clash with Motherwell, following an injury to midfielder James McCarthy.

What’s the word?

Speaking in his pre-match press conference on Tuesday ahead of the trip to Fir Park, manager Ange Postecoglou revealed that the Republic of Ireland international is set for an extended spell on the sidelines as a result of a hamstring issue.

Asked about any potential absentees for the upcoming meeting with Steven Hammell’s side, the 57-year-old stated:

“James McCarthy, unfortunately, picked up a hamstring injury in training. He will miss out – it’s quite a significant one. Obviously with the break coming, he will be back training by the group.”

The 31-year-old has endured a stop-start spell at Parkhead thus far since his free transfer arrival last summer, with the 42-cap playmaker having been restricted to just five appearances in all competitions this season.

Frustration for Postecoglou

While the former Everton man would have been unlikely to start this evening’s encounter having largely been a peripheral figure during his time in Glasgow to date, the £14k-per-week gem’s absence will still be a source of frustration for Postecoglou, with the former Yokohama boss already somewhat under strength in the centre of the park.

The Old Firm outfit have been forced to make do without influential skipper Callum McGregor in recent times, with the Scotland international having been absent with a knee injury since the defeat away to RB Leipzig in the Champions League last month.

The 29-year-old’s spell out of the side has reduced the club’s options at the base of the midfield, with losing another defensive-minded asset such as McCarthy no doubt set to be a further setback, even with just two games left to play until the World Cup break.

There will also seemingly be frustration for both Postecoglou and the player himself that his move to Parkhead is still yet to work out, with the one-time Wigan Athletic ace having made just 27 appearances over the past year or so, including just six starts in that time.

The decision to hand the struggling asset a four-year deal at the time of his arrival has no doubt backfired as far as the Bhoys are concerned, with McCarthy having yet to justify such a strong show of faith from the club.

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The Glasgow-born figure will seemingly be further frustrated at his inability to stay injury-free, having notably endured a miserable stint at Goodison Park in the past that was plagued by spells on the treatment table.

As for Celtic, amid what has been a hectic run of fixtures both domestically and in Europe, it is far from an ideal scenario to have one less option to choose from.

Article title: Celtic suffer James McCarthy injury blow

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