Kyogo Furuhashi: Major Celtic blow for Rangers clash as gloomy outlook given on Japanese striker

Kyogo Furuhashi is in a race to be fit for Celtic’s next Old Firm clash with Rangers after manager Ange Postecoglou admitted the Japanese forward is “miles away” from full fitness.

The 27-year-old has not been seen since Boxing Day after injuring his hamstring in the 3-1 victory over St Johnstone.

With 16 goals already to his name, Furuhashi is clearly Celtic’s main forward and while Daizen Maeda and Giorgios Giakoumakis have scored goals in his absence, Postecoglou is eager to have the £4.6million signing from Vissel Kobe available sooner rather than later.

However, the Australian coach offered a gloomy outlook when asked in the wake of Thursday’s defeat by Bodo/Glimt for an update on his fitness and that of midfielder David Turnbull, who is also recovering from injury.

Kyogo Furuhashi has not played for Celtic since Boxing Day.

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“David Turnbull is almost back in training, but Kyogo is nowhere near it,” Postecoglou reported.

Celtic take on Rangers on Sunday, April 3, and with their lead over the defending champions just three points, it is clear that the two remaining matches against each other will be crucial in deciding the destination of the title.

Japan manager Hajime Moriyasu is braced for not having Furuhashi available for the Samurai Warriors’ crucial World Cup qualifiers against Australia and Japan next month.

Moriyasu was recently in Glasgow to check on Furuhashi, Maeda and their fellow Japanese internationalists Reo Hatate and Yosuke Ideguchi, but it is understood that he is already planning for those matches without Furuhashi.

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Maeda and Hatate, however, are likely to be called up, the latter in particular impressing since joining Celtic from Kawaski Frontale.

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