It has been revealed that the centre-back has had successful surgery on the foot injury that has kept him out of action for the Light Blues since April and he is now due to return in February of 2023.
Speaking to the Scottish Daily Express, a source close to the player said: “It has been such a frustrating time for Fil but we can now see light at the end of the tunnel.
“We thought that the injury had cleared up in the summer and Fil was feeling good as he took part in pre-season training. He went with the squad to Portugal and then in one of the sessions he felt the problem again and it was back to square one.
“He went back to see a specialist and it was decided to have an operation. The surgery has been a success and now he’s just going through the whole rehab process which will still take time.
“The hope is that he will be back in training in the early part of next year and then playing again in February or March.”
Leon King suffered a nasty head injury against St Mirren at the weekend and has since been discharged from the hospital but the youngster may not have been called into action as regularly as he has been this season had other centre-backs been available.
John Souttar, Connor Goldson, and Helander are all currently out with injuries and Ben Davies missed the draw on Saturday with a knock.
The 18-year-old, King, has played 17 games across the Premiership and Champions League this season and got caught out for St Mirren’s goal in their last match as he failed to clear his lines within the six-yard box.
He has shown great promise, averaging a SofaScore rating of 6.84 and winning 56% of his duels, but he is still a young player learning his trade and will make mistakes, with his error costing the team two points at the weekend.
Helander, at the top of his game, has the quality to be an outstanding centre-back in the Scottish top flight. The Sweden international averaged a SofaScore rating of 7.10 and won 68% of his duels across 22 appearances in the 2020/21 title-winning campaign.
Therefore, he has the quality to be a huge upgrade on the teenager and could improve the defence with his strong, consistently brilliant, defending.
Football Insider have reported that the board are ‘increasingly likely’ to dismiss the head coach and that means that his potential injury boost in 2023 is set to come too late for van Bronckhorst, who appears set to miss out on the chance to utilise the 29-year-old’s talents.
Maybe things could have been different for the Dutchman if Helander had been available over the last few weeks but the Swedish enforcer’s return may now be a lift for a different man in the dugout.