Alex McLeish has tipped John Kennedy to start James Forrest on the Celtic bench against Rangers on Sunday.

The former Gers boss, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, suggested the 29-year-old may be lacking in sharpness after his most recent layoff.

Speaking last week, Kennedy revealed he hoped to have the winger back available after he sat out the 1-1 draw with Aberdeen.

Forrest will not have played competitively for three weeks ahead of Sunday’s clash at Ibrox.

He only returned from a serious ankle injury, which required surgery, back at the start of March.

The Scotland international has made just 14 appearances all season, four of which have come after his operation.

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With Forrest still trying to get up to full speed, McLeish suggested he may have to settle for a substitute role on Sunday.

“There will be a little bit of doubt on his overall sharpness,” McLeish told Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge.

“He’s certainly been a player that they’ve badly missed. For James to get his rhythm back after missing almost an entire season, it’s a really tough ask.

“I would say the fact he’s been out for another three weeks, he may possibly not start.

“But listen, John Kennedy desperately wants a victory over Rangers this season. It’s possibly the ace in the deck, in the deck of cards.

“He may feel that way: ‘I’ve got to throw him in, I’ve got to get my best players on the pitch f I’m going to end the season having some sort of victory over Rangers.'”

In other news, Frank McAvennie is gutted that one Celtic player could quit the club this summer.