By Alex McLeish

16th Jul, 2021 | 7:00pm

McLeish verdict on Forrest 'big blow' after Celtic training update

Alex McLeish has suggested James Forrest may start on the Celtic bench for the Champions League qualifier versus FC Midtjylland.

The former Scotland boss, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, suggested the 31-year-old faces a race against time to prove his fitness after a period of self-isolation.

As reported by the Scottish Sun (July 16th), Forrest has left isolation and was due to return to training at Lennoxtown again on Friday.

He missed the Hoops’ training camp in Wales, as well as their friendly wins over Sheffield Wednesday and Charlton.

Celtic have a warm-up game scheduled against Preston North End on Saturday.

They will then host Midtjylland on Tuesday (July 20th) for the first leg of their Champions League qualifying tie.

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McLeish admitted while it would be a big blow, Forrest may have to start among the substitutes.

McLeish told Football Insider’s Russell Edge: “I would have no doubt he would have continued to train, in isolation of course. Maybe designated a coach or something.

“He was a big miss for Celtic last year. We know Postecoglou would be, I don’t want to use the word desperate, but he will be keen to get him back to full fitness. Back into that team.

“It is a big blow. Will he be ready for that game? If he’s been training, possibly he could play a part in it. Postecoglou would definitely want to have him as part of the squad.

“Even if it’s just to get him off the bench, he’s missed a year of football. He’ll be wanting to make up for lost time. He should have fitness in his locker.

“I’m sure he’ll be proving to be one of the top runners in training this season as well. He’s a very, very good professional.”

In other news, pundit predicts Celtic have unearthed another Moussa Dembele as deal done.