Neil Lennon has indicated Odsonne Edouard is set to overcome fitness concerns and lead the attack for Celtic in tomorrow’s Old Firm Betfred Cup final.
The Frenchman, who has five goals in 12 appearances against Rangers, has missed the club’s last three games with a hamstring problem.
But Celtic manager Lennon yesterday maintained the striker had a “very good chance” of making the Hampden showpiece in which the treble treble winners will bid for an unprecedented tenth straight domestic honour and a 12th win in a row in all competitions.
Edouard – Lennon’s only doubt with recent absentees Mohamed Elyounoussi, Boli Bolingoli and Jonny Hayes all back in training and “looking good” – wouldn’t be 100 per cent, acknowledged Lennon, but yesterday was make-or-break for his availability.
Stating that the 21-year-old had returned to training yesterday, Lennon added: “We’ll see what reaction Odsonne gets from training today. We will know more tomorrow. If he is okay then he trains and he is alright to start.
“Nobody’s ever 100 per cent but obviously I have to be guided by the medical guys and the fitness staff as well.
“This one [injury] has only been 13 days. It is not as if he is going to lose a lot in terms of his fitness. He has been out on the grass for the majority of the week doing movements and cardiovascular stuff.
“But he trained today, it wasn’t an intensive [session], did the full session today and looks like he’s come through it no problem. I’m always encouraged to see a player of that calibre on the training ground and there’s no question we’re a better team when he’s fit and available.
“Of course it’s his call. That’s the same with every player coming back from injury and I think there’s a very good chance he will start. We’ve done pretty well in his absence but there’s no question we’re a better team when he’s available.
“[But while] his record is good, so are the records of many of the players in the team. He is a really important player for us, but the team is the important bit. We have got some great players in the team who are playing very, very well at the minute. They have great experience of this occasion as well. That may help, but I always think it’s on the day and how their approach is that matters.”