Jeremie Frimpong injury fears as Celtic boss Neil Lennon explains Shane Duffy and Odsonne Edouard calls
The 18-year-old was caught high on the knee by a reckless studs-up challenge from Devante Cole that earned the striker a yellow card and his manager Neil Lennon said there are concerns over the injury. “I didn’t get a good view of it because Jerry’s back was to me but I saw the replay and he’s high and late. He’s in a lot of discomfort at the minute. It could be ligament damage, we don’t know yet. We will have to assess him over the next couple of days.”
Lennon has further fitness concerns over Kristoffer Ajer after he also failed to see out the encounter with a recurrence of the groin problem that had kept him out for the past week. His return meant Shane Duffy initially dropping to the bench, but the Celtic manager sought to downplay the decision to leave both the Republic of Ireland captain and Odsonne Edouard out of the starting line-up following the poor showings from the pair in the calamitous 4-1 loss to Sparta Prague in Thursday’s Europa League encounter in Glasgow.
“He felt it at half-time and battled on with it but he couldn’t continue. He will be a doubt for Norway I would imagine,” said Lennon, with an international fortnight now ahead. “Duffy needed a rest. He has played a lot of games. It was unfortunate we lost Kris again with the groin problem but Shane came on and did a fine job for us. It was just a little bit of rotation. You could say the same about leaving Edouard out. We felt it was the right thing to do. He’s not been himself since the Covid thing. He comes on, sets up a goal, so it has been a good day for us. But we still have a lot of work to do.”
Lennon had praise for the strong performance from Scott Brown at Fir Park, following a period when both Lennon and his captain have come under unforgiving scrutiny. “He was great,” said the Celtic manager. “We told him to go out and play with a swagger and he did that, I thought he had an outstanding influence. He’s a great captain. He’s had a bit of criticism and he’s not averse to it, but all the greats at Celtic have taken a bit of criticism along the way. He’s responded to it the way I knew he would. There is no way I was going to leave him out.”
Lennon confesses that the dozen or so players he will now lose to the countries will lead to a fraught 10 days for him following the Covid-19 problems that ensued from the last such break. “We want them all to represent their country but we don’t want a repeat of what happened last time, through no fault of the club’s,” he said. “We want the associations to look after our players, which we expect them to do.”
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