Dembele nears Celtic return after injury

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Dembele (right) chats with fellow France U21 international Olivier Ntcham at Celtic training

Celtic could have Moussa Dembele back in time for next Tuesday’s Champions League match with Paris Saint-Germain.

But manager Brendan Rodgers will not take any risks which could damage the striker’s long-term recovery.

Dembele, 21, has been out since July with a hamstring injury but is back in training following rehabilitation work in his native France.

“We have to be sure he is right if he is going to have any involvement in the game,” said Rodgers.

“He went to Clairefontaine (French Football Federation HQ) for three weeks and did some great work with the medical team there, like he’d done here before he left.

“He’s back and we’ll assess him really to see where he is at.

“The most important thing is we don’t risk it. Everyone would love to be involved in the Paris game but, if not, he’s not going to be too far away. And then he’s still going to have an impact for the rest of the Champions League campaign, which is great news.”

Fellow striker Leigh Griffiths will miss Friday’s Premiership visit to Hamilton after picking up an injury on Scotland duty.

Edouard could make his Celtic bow at Hamilton on Friday

“I don’t think he can play tomorrow,” said Rodgers.

“He’s had a scan on his calf. We think he’ll be fine for Tuesday, but there’s too much of a risk there. I just don’t think he’s fit enough to play the game [against Hamilton].”

That could open the door for a debut for on-loan PSG striker Odsonne Edouard, who Rodgers revealed is coming to terms with the Scottish climate.

“He’ll be involved in the squad,” said the Celtic boss. “He has been playing, so that’s the beauty of it.

“He’s what you expect of the young French young strikers – very quick, very dynamic, he’s technically very strong.

“He is still adapting. I don’t think he’s ever trained at 11 o’clock in the morning with the rain and floodlights on, so he’ll be adapting to Scottish football. But he looked a bit cold this morning in our tactical session.

“But, no. He’s settled in very well. He has to learn the language and get to know Glasgow but he’s got other (French-speaking) guys here to help him with Moussa and Olivier Ntcham and Dedryck Boyata.”


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