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LENNON ADMITS JOHNSTON SETBACK

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NEIL LENNON has revealed Mikey Johnston is likely to be out for months after suffering suspected knee ligament damage.

The 20-year-old winger, who had come on as a substitute for Leigh Griffiths in the 67th minute, limped off near the end of Celtic’s 3-0 win over St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park on Wednesday.

Hoops boss Lennon told Sky Sports News: “It will be long term. It was a bad twist. He says there was contact, but it doesn’t look like there was contact.

“It looks like he has twisted the knee and there is a bit of swelling there and ligament damage.”

Lennon looked frustrated as the Scotland Under-21 international hobbled off in the fading moments of the Perth encounter to leave the team with 10 men.

The manager had already made his third and final change of the night when he sent on Patryk Klimala for Odsonne Edouard eight minutes from the end.

CRUNCH…Mikey Johnston in a tussle with St Johnstone’s Jason Kerr.

The Irishman said: “It was annoying for me because we were making a substitution and he said he was alright to carry on.

“But quite clearly after a couple of minutes, that wasn’t the case. We had already made the substitution. So, it was a learning experience.”

Another wide player, Mohamed Elyounoussi, will continue his absence in 2020 when the champions take on Hamilton Accies at the FYO stadium on Sunday.

The on-loan Southampton forward is still recovering from a foot injury sustained while on international duty with Norway and his last appearance was a first-half outing in the 1-0 Betfred League Cup Final against Rangers at Hampden last month.

Lennon added: “We are looking at options, but we are not guaranteeing anything. If we can do some business, great, if we can’t do some business then great because I am really pleased with the squad of players I have got.

“We have a good squad, decent depth, and once we get a few injuries back we will be fine.

“Sometimes in the last couple of days, something crops up, so you have to wait and be patient. I might be sitting Friday night late on and something might happen.

“We are not in a panic to do anything.”

 

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Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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