The unexpected Tom Rogic call Ange Postecoglou had to make in Celtic's win over Hearts

Ange Postecoglou says he will be very careful with Celtic’s injury victims – and they’ll only return when they’re ready.

The Celtic boss saw Anthony Ralston, Jota and Stephen Welsh all suffer midweek injuries and while he waits on medical assessments, the trio won’t be rushed back.

Postecoglou reckons he has squad depth to cover any potential absences during December’s busy schedule, and will have Cameron Carter-Vickers available for Sunday’s televised match with Dundee United after welcoming James Forrest, Tom Rogic and Carl Starfelt back to the starting line-up for the win against Hearts.

The demanding style he is implementing at Lennoxtown means any rehabilitation back to fitness is treated very carefully, Postecoglou says, though Thursday’s enforced substitutions did cause a change in plan for the return of Rogic.

Hearts John Souttar and Tom Rogic in action during a cinch Premiership match between Celtic and Heart of Midlothian at Celtic Park, on December 2. (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)


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"It's not just the work we do with the players, but the work we do with the guys who are coming back to make sure they are ready, because it's not easy to come into our squad," Postecoglou said. "We play very high tempo, it's very demanding on the body, so the boys have to be ready to go.

"The backroom staff, medical team, sports science, all do great work with these guys. It was great to see them slip into it so well. Tommy was never meant to play 90 but with the injuries we had to make a call for him to keep playing.

"It's not just about 11 players, we are going to need the whole squad to get through this series of games."

Swedish defender Starfelt’s successful return could also cushion the potential blow of losing Scotland defenders Ralston and Welsh and Postecoglou will wait for medical reports on the pair, plus Jota.


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Celtic's Jota pulls up with a hamstring injury against Hearts. (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)

"It's always a worry but that's why we try and get players up and running. We have got a little bit more depth now than we had.

"We coped well with Carl and Tommy being out for such a period. You don't want it to add up obviously but I think the squad is in a better position to cover absences at the moment.

"I'm hoping they are not significant but if they are missing for a couple of games then we have got players who can come in and do a job for us."


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