Celtic have been dealt a late injury blow concerning Kyogo Furuhashi ahead of their upcoming Premiership clash on Monday evening.
According to a report by The Scottish Sun, the 26-year-old centre-forward, who suffered a recurrence of a hamstring injury in Celtic’s 3-1 victory over St. Johnstone on Boxing Day, looks set to be ruled out of action until at least next month, missing tonight’s clash with Hibs as a result.
The report claims that the Japan international is a doubt for the Old Firm clash on February 2 – despite the fact that Ange Postecoglou claimed after the St. Johnstone win that the striker’s injury was “nothing major,” leading us to believe he could return after the break.
The report went on to state that Kyogo will not link up with the Japanese national team for their World Cup qualifiers against China on January 27 and Saudi Arabia on February 1 due to his fitness concerns, as well as revealing that the forward has not been training with Celtic upon their return to Lennoxtown after the winter break.
Considering just how important a part of the Celtic side Kyogo has become since his £4.6m move to Parkhead last summer, the news that the centre-forward looks set to miss the fixture against Hibernian, as well as a number of other extremely important games in the coming weeks, is sure to have left Postecoglu fuming.
Indeed, over his 14 Premiership outings so far this season, the £4.95m-rated man has already scored eight goals, registered two assists and created four big chances for his teammates, as well as taking an average of 2.1 shots and making 1.1 key passes per game.
These returns have seen the £18k-per-week striker average a SofaScore match rating of 7.03, ranking him as Postecoglou’s 11th-best performer in the top flight of Scottish football – of the players who remain in the Greek-Australian manager’s first-team squad.
The Japan international has also bagged a further two goals and three assists over his five Europa League appearances, three goals over his four Europa League qualifying fixtures and three goals in three games in the League Cup – taking his total to 16 goals and five assists over just 26 appearances for the Hoops.
As such, being without Kyogo for any extended period of time will undoubtedly come as a huge blow to Postecoglou and his side, who will need to keep the 26-year-old fit and firing over the second half of the season if Celtic are to have any chance of going on to reclaim their Scottish Premiership crown come next May.