Confirmed: Celtic to be handed imminent shock first team boost

Celtic are set to welcome back senior goalkeeper Craig Gordon to first team action earlier than expected after his serious knee injury.

The 35-year-old was forced out of action after picking up a blow during the clash against Hibernian back in January, with fears that the experienced shot stopper could well be on the sidelines for the rest of the season.

Dorus De Vries and January loan signing Scott Bain, who arrived in the aftermath of Gordon’s injury, have been battling it out for the starting role between the sticks, but they are set to have more competition imminently as the former number one hands the Hoops a shock boost, returning almost a month early.

Celtic goalkeeping coach Stevie Woods told the Evening Times: “Two to three weeks to be back into the first team and have the possibility to be selected.

“It was a new and unique injury to that knee and it doesn’t have any sort of bearing on anything that went before, which means it is very simple for them to fix it.

“Initially he was given a 12 week prognosis and it is looking like he will be back between nine and 10 weeks to full training and available for selection.”

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Gordon had made 40 appearances before his layoff, and the three week diagnosis for his return gives him a chance of featuring against Rangers in the Scottish Cup semi final.

Football Insider verdict

Credit where credit is due, the medical staff at Parkhead have pulled off a stunning effort to get Gordon back as quickly as they have. As Woods says, it was a new injury so there was no lasting damage to recover from, but it is still a stunning thought that the Hoops could have Gordon back from mid-April. What does this mean for Scott Bain and Dorus De Vries? Well the Dutch shot stopper lost his place to the loanee, so his future looks pretty bleak, leaving it as a straight shootout between the two Scots. Gordon might be the number one, but Bain is in fine form, so Brendan Rodgers could well have a difficult decision on his hands – albeit a tough choice he will be happy to have.

In other Celtic news, the club are in the hunt for a centre forward tearing up the league.

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