By Ben Dinnery

16th Dec, 2021 | 5:00pm

Injury expert: Forrest may be 'back to square one' at Celtic amid 'next season' verdict

There is a risk that James Forrest could be “back to square one” at Celtic so soon after returning from his latest long-term setback.

So says injury expert Ben Dinnery, who runs the Premier Injuries site and has a background in medicine and data analysis.

Forrest hobbled off 20 minutes into the Hoops’ eventual 1-0 win over Motherwell last Sunday (12 December).

Ange Postecoglou was quoted by Sky Sports yesterday (15 December) as saying the winger, 30, was “sore” but provided no more information.

Dinnery is worried that Forrest, who has missed 53 matches with various injuries in the last two seasons, may not be fully fit until 2022-23.

“It can be a vicious circle,” he told Football Insider‘s Adam Williams.

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“Players can return and suffer setbacks on the training pitches. You can be approaching full fitness and then all of a sudden you’re back to square one.

“That is always a worry. There are lots of factors that can impact this. If a team is doing particularly well, a player wants to get back and be part of it.

“At the opposite end of the spectrum, if a team is playing poorly, they may want to get back and help out and put their bodies on the line.

“Within a time-crunched environment, we always talk about the player’s status within the team. High-profile players usually push the boundaries.

“These setbacks can easily snowball. It may be that after yet another setback, we don’t see him fully fit and firing until next season.

“Maybe he can fight fires this season, but a full pre-season would bring him up to speed. Until recent concerns, he hasn’t been injury prone.

“He seems to have just been unfortunate and is now struggling to build fitness in the middle of the season.”

Forrest has registered three goals and three assists in 16 appearances this term.

Fellow attackers Kyogo Furuhashi, Filipe Jota and Giorgos Giakoumakis are also doubts ahead of the League Cup final on Sunday (19 December).

In other news, Frank McAvennie tells Celtic to sell Mikey Johnston in January as his Hoops career is over.