Why Kyogo Furuhashi could be set to hand Celtic's treble bid a massive boost

Only conjecture and supposition is essentially possible in speculating on injury returns for Celtic players.

It is perhaps why quite a stooshie was created on Wednesday afternoon with a post on a Celtic fan forum that claimed Kyogo Furuhashi was back in training and could make a matchday squad for the first time this year as early as Saturday’s hosting of Ross County. With Ange Postecoglou fiercely protective of his players’ privacy over their medical status, such a development hasn’t been trailed by the Celtic manager in recent weeks. That doesn’t mean to say that the Japanese striker, the sun around which Celtic’s playing planets revolved in a revelatory first five months with the club that bagged him 16 goals, isn’t preparing for an imminent return. It is just that nothing can be stated with any certainty over his rehabilitation from hamstring problems. Issues that troubled him within a month of making a mighty splash following his August arrival in Scotland subsequent to a £4.6m move from Vissel Kobe.

What it is possible to do is build a picture of the possible comeback timescale for Furuhashi from the snippets offered up by Postecoglou. All of which chime in with the notion that the striker could shortly re-appear. David Turnbull has returned to full training this week on the back of going down with a damaged hamstring in the Premier Sports Cup final victory over Hibs on December 19 – a week before Furuhashi, the two-goal matchwinner in the Hampden decider, was forced off early into the Boxing Day win away to St Johnstone. These developments could provide context to where Furuhashi is at currently if knitted together with comments made on the pair by the Celtic manager on January 28.

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“[Kyogo’s] is a similar injury to Dave Turnbull and he’s been out for quite a while so we expect a similar sort of recovery," Postecoglou said while refusing to divulge whether Furuhashi had required an operation to resolve the hamstring problems that have beset him in Scotland. This info came from Postecoglou a week after he had maintained “whatever timeframe is put on his [Kyogo’s] recovery, he will beat it.”

Celtic's Kyogo Furuhashi is rumoured to nearing a return from a long-term hamstring injury. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)Celtic's Kyogo Furuhashi is rumoured to nearing a return from a long-term hamstring injury. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)
Celtic's Kyogo Furuhashi is rumoured to nearing a return from a long-term hamstring injury. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

That Furuhashi might be on course for active involvement in the three season-shaping derbies coming up for Celtic following their pairing with Rangers in the Scottish Cup semi-final is further strengthened by a comment from Postecoglou on February 25. The Celtic manager then stated the Japanese attacker wasn’t “far off” a return. If such assessments are there or thereabouts, the Parkhead club’s push for a treble could be about to receive a monumental boost.

Furuhashi’s game-changing abilities have been witnessed in all fixtures but a match-up with Rangers. If he is available for the cup tie likely to be played on Easter Sunday, and which will be sandwiched between the April 3 Ibrox confrontation between the title challengers and their fourth league meeting, expected to be slotted in as one of the first two rounds of post-split fixtures on April 23/24 or April 30/May 1, then it would be inconceivable to believe the wispish, lethal forward putting that to rights. Frankly, though, all can only remain to be seen as to when Furuhashi will once again be leading the line for Celtic.

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