Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers could face a fraught Christmas, with the Old Firm derby on the horizon and potentially no strikers available, after confirming Odsonne Edouard will needs further tests after his withdrawal against Motherwell on Wednesday night.
Rodgers spoke to the media following his side’s 3-0 win, that saw Anthony Robinson open the scoring before Scott Sinclair doubled the Hoops’ lead from the penalty spot.
Amidst the flurry of questions, the 45-year-old was asked to comment on the fitness of star striker Edouard, after the 20-year-old was forced off on the 38th minute.
“We’ll just see how he is in the next 24 hours,” Rodgers told BBC Scotland. “It’s a concern when you lose any player, but he’s played a lot of games and we’ve not been able to rest him, so it’s probably a little bit of fatigue.”
The French forward has featured 30 times for Celtic so far this season and has found the net 13 times – eight of which have come in the Scottish Premiership.
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Edouard’s importance to Rodgers grew significantly with Leigh Griffiths ruled out for personal reasons, but any injury leaves his manager lacking options up top.
Against Motherwell, 19-year-old academy graduate Michael Johnston came off the bench to replace the French forward to mark his ninth senior game of the season.
A second-half strike by the teenager then secured the points, as the Hoops’ number 73 notched his first senior goal, but Rodgers is unconvinced he can lead the line just yet.
BBC Scotland quote the manager stating: “He’s a huge talent and opportunities like tonight to come in and affect the game and score will only help his confidence.
“He’s still maturing, he’s still got to get physically stronger to cope but he’s a very exciting talent and very direct.”
Should Rodgers prefer a more proven-talent to lead the line over Christmas, bearing in mind the Old Firm derby on December 29, he could turn to Lewis Morgan.
The 22-year-old has mainly appeared in midfield during his 15 matches for Celtic this season, but was handed a starting role alongside Edouard as a striker in the Scottish side’s Europa League clash away to RB Leipzig.
From there, the former Rangers youth prospect contributed two shots, one key pass and won half of his aerial duels.