By Noel Whelan

5th Aug, 2020 | 7:10pm

'Massive blow' - Exclusive: Journalist reports surgery for Celtic attacker, pundit reacts

Noel Whelan claims that attacker Mikey Johnston has been dealt a “massive blow” as he faces weeks on the sidelines at Celtic.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Leeds and Aberdeen hitman insists that missing the start of the season is the “last thing any player wants”.

Radio Clyde reporter Alison Conroy tweeted on Friday that the 21-year-old was set to have surgery on a calf injury and will be out of action for between four to six weeks.

Johnston scored six goals and contributed six assists for the Bhoys last season but was absent large chunks of the campaign through injury.

Manager Neil Lennon confirmed before Sunday’s win against Hamilton that the left-sided attacker was the only injured player among his squad.

Whelan insists that missing the start of the campaign is a sucker punch for any player, young or old, and that the promising forward has got to remain positive despite his setback.

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Whelan told Football Insider: “The last thing that any player wants, young or experienced, is not to come through pre-season. 

“You’re always praying you can come through unscathed and ready for the start of the season to put yourself in the shop window to be a starter for the first game of the season.

“That’s a massive blow to the young man because all that hard work in pre-season has gone out the window. When you’re back to playing football you’ve basically got to start all over again. 

“You might not get in the side if someone starts really well, that’s the problem. it’s a bit of a blow but he’s young, he’s got to stay positive.

“I’m sure he’s got the right people around him and the fire in his belly to go and fight whoever’s in his position to give them a challenge.” 

In other Celtic news, a former Rangers star has touted a money-spinning signing for a player the Hoops have tried to sign.