SCOTLAND manager Gordon Strachan is likely to be without Celtic’s James Forrest for the World Cup qualifying matches against Wales at Hampden and Serbia in Novi Sad, writes Ewing Grahame.
SCOTLAND manager Gordon Strachan is likely to be without Celtic’s James Forrest for the World Cup qualifying matches against Wales at Hampden and Serbia in Novi Sad.
The back problem which saw Forrest miss yesterday’s SPL match at home to Aberdeen and last weekend’s defeat away to Ross County is expected to sideline the winger.
Previously, hamstring injuries ruled him out of his club’s Champions League victories over Barcelona and Spartak Moscow at Parkhead and now he’s unlikely to play again this month.
“He’s had a scan,” said his manager, Neil Lennon. “He’s got a small bulge in a disc in his back and he needs an injection. That will keep him out for another couple of weeks. It’s been very stop-start for James this season. So I don’t think he’ll be fit for the Scotland games.
“It’s torture for me because he has been in brilliant form, even when he came on [against Juventus] in Turin. We knew he had a problem with his calf. We think it is neural and is coming from the back so we didn’t start him but I thought he had a great game when he went on.”
Lennon is convinced that Forrest will be able to deal with this latest disappointment, claiming that the 21-year-old possesses great resilience.
“He always bounces back,” he said. “His mentality is fantastic as well. I know he’s an easy-going kid but he’s a tiger. He works really hard.”