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.
🗣️ JK: "Out with that, James Forrest will still be missing for this midweek, but will hopefully be fine afterwards. The same with Mikey Johnston.”#ABECEL
— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) April 20, 2021
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.
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.'”