Jack Hendry unlikely to go out on loan amid Benkovic injury

Filip Benkovic’s ankle injury looks like calling a halt to Jack Hendry’s hopes of going out on loan, according to the Evening Times.

What’s the word?

The former Dundee man has slipped to fifth choice for a place in central defence but that has changed, with Benkovic out of action for at least a month while Dedryck Boyata has missed the last three games.

Jozo Simunovic and Kris Ajer were paired up for Thursday night’s 2-0 win over St Johnstone with Rodgers set to carry out a head check this morning at Lennoxtown.

“Filip’s injury could change the plan for Jack,” the Celtic boss told the Evening Times. “We wanted to get him out for games but I need to ensure our squad is covered – before anyone else’s. We will assess that on Thursday morning and see where it is at.”

Catch 22

This is a real Catch 22 decision for Rodgers – by the middle of March, Benkovic and Boyata could be reunited with Hendry left watching from the stand. On the other hand, an injury to Ajer or Simunovic in the next couple of weeks would make Rodgers look foolish if Hendry is impressing out on loan.

Since joining Celtic exactly a year ago, the three-cap Scotland international has had the unfortunate knack of playing in some of the worst performances of 2018 with his stats seized upon by the critics.

Getting a dozen or more games out on loan at an English Championship side would do his game the world of good. Before joining Dundee in July 2017, Hendry had barely sampled first team football.

It is probably in Hendry’s best interests to go out on loan but to Celtic’s benefit that he stays on as cover. Ultimately Rodgers will have to act in Celtic’s interests to provide insurance against any further injuries, but both potential outcomes have their own set of negatives.