James Forrest will be a “huge loss” for Celtic as the winger prepares to undergo surgery on an ankle injury, according to Alan Hutton.

The former Rangers and Scotland defender, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, has lauded his fellow countryman as an “outstanding” performer for the Bhoys over the last couple of seasons.

Speaking to the Scotsman, Neil Lennon confirmed the 29-year-old is set to go under the knife this week to sort out a niggling ankle injury he has suffered with this season.

Forrest played 10 times across all competitions in the opening weeks of the new season but has sat out the Hoops’ last eight fixtures.

Hutton has insisted that the 35-cap international is a winger who is a constant threat for the Bhoys and that he will be sorely missed by Lennon and his teammates.

“He’s a huge loss, he’s been an outstanding player for them for a number of years now, he’s won everything there is to win,” Hutton told Football Insider.

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“He’s going to be a huge loss, he gives them that pace and energy down the line, he can cut in and he always affects games. 

“He’s one of those wingers were he is in the game more often than not so he is a huge miss. You just hope that everything goes well, there is always a danger when you have any sort of procedure but nowadays things are usually A-OK.

“Hopefully, he’ll be back as soon as possible and out on the pitch for Celtic.”

Forrest has played 405 times for Celtic to date, with 91 goals and 93 assists under his belt.

Attacking midfielder Ryan Christie has been used as a right-winger in his teammates’ absence, while Jeremie Frimpong has turned out as a wing-back on occasion.

In other Celtic news, Football Insider has revealed how much the Bhoys will have to spend to sign Diego Laxalt permanently.