CELTIC manager Neil Lennon admits Mikael Lustig’s hip injury has left him with a “huge” headache ahead of next week’s Champions League home clash with Ajax.
The Hoops right-back was ruled out of Sweden’s World Cup qualifier against Germany on Tuesday after coming off in the previous match four days earlier against Austria with the injury which leaves him “a serious doubt” for the trip to Hibernian in the Scottish Premiership on Saturday.
Adam Matthews is out for three months with a shoulder injury which poses a defensive problem for the Parkhead boss.
Lennon said: “We have two very good right-backs who may not be fit (for Ajax).
“We know Adam is going to be out for three months.
“Mikael’s hip-locked against Austria. He is a doubt for the weekend but we are very hopeful he will be fit for Ajax on Tuesday.
“But we have to nurse Mikael, he does have hip and groin problems and we do have to manage him during the week.
“But he is a serious doubt for the weekend so we will have to rethink things regarding Hibs.
“It will be (a gamble) against Ajax if Mikael does make it (for Hibs) and it might not be a gamble worth taking, obviously.
“Efe Ambrose had played international football at right back so he is a possibility, we have Darnell Fisher or I might change the formation.
“I will have a think about it in the next couple of days.”
Dutch winger Derk Boerrigter is still struggling with an ankle complaint and is unlikely to be back for next week’s game against his former club.
However, midfielders Joe Ledley and Tom Rogic are back from their respective groin injuries and James Forrest is expected to be fit again after a combination of sciatica and a virus kept him out of Scotland’s final World Cup qualifier against Croatia at Hampden Park on Tuesday night.
Lennon said: “Joe is due to start training tomorrow, as is Tom Rogic.
“Tom had an injection in the groin area before the international break so has been doing some physical work this week after a rest last week, so I’m hoping he will join us tomorrow.
“James Forrest has had a 10-day rehab so we are hoping he will be up and at it for the weekend.
“So the squad is starting to take a little bit more shape again.
“Boerrigter will take another week or so, he has a bit of soreness in the (ankle) bone and it can take a considerable period of time to heal properly.
“But we are hoping in a week to 10 days he will be able to join the rest of the players but to he is doubtful for Ajax.”