Callum McGregor in line for shock Celtic return against Leverkusen as Ange Postecoglou addresses Scotland call-up

Callum McGregor could make a dramatic return to the Celtic side for the club’s Europa League encounter at home to Bayer Leverkusen, Ange Postecoglou has revealed.

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou has pointed to the possibility of having his captain Callum McGregor back in action against Leverkusen following a four-game absence. (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)

The Parkhead club’s captain hasn’t featured since being forced off with a hamstring problem in win with Ross Country two-and-a-half weeks ago - the club winning only one of the four games the midfielder has missed in his longest period out injured for five years. It was thought Thursday’s confrontation would come to soon for the 28-year-old, despite being named in the Scotland squad earlier this week for World Cup qualifiers against Israel and the Faroe Islands next month.

But Postecoglou provided a hopeful prognosis for McGregor as he backed Steve Clarke’s decision to select him. Expressing confidence of his availability for the league trip to Aberdeen, it is possible Japanese attacker Kyogo Furuhashi - sidelined across September - and yet-to-feature Greek striker Giorgios Giakoumakis could also appear from the bench against the Germans ahead of coming into contention for starts at Pittodrie.

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“We haven’t ruled Callum out for tomorrow night,” said the Celtic manager. “He trained today and we will just see how he pulls up in training. He may very well be involved tomorrow night. I think Steve Clarke has already said that if Callum plays then he will obviously take him. I see no reason why he shouldn’t select him, particularly if he’s pretty close to returning to play. While he’s away with the Scotland squad I’m pretty sure he will get looked after as well as all the other players so I have no issue with that.

“He [McGregor] is an experienced guy, he knows his body better than anyone else. But he is important to us so we don’t want to just rush him in there. If he feels comfortable and he’s got through training OK, I will have a discussion with him and then we will make a decision from there. Obviously there are still some hurdles to jump but I’m hoping, with him and a couple of others, that we will get some game time from them whether that’s tomorrow or Sunday’s game. And then, with the international break coming after that, post-that we can have everyone available.”

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