By Danny Wright
Brendan Rodgers has confirmed that Dedryck Boyata’s fitness will be assessed ahead of Saturday’s clash with Ross County at Parkhead.
Boyata, 26, has failed to feature in any of Celtic’s opening matches this season due to a serious knee injury and it’s no secret that Rodgers’ defence has struggled in his absence.
The Hoops have also been missing Erik Sviatchenko in the last month, leading to Rodgers chopping and changing his backline as every match goes by to try and find the best way to work with the injury crisis.
However there is now cause for optimism for Celtic fans as the Northern Irish manager has declared that defender Boyata is close to making a full recovery.
“We’ll assess over the next 24 hours whether he’s going to be available or not,” said Rodgers, as quoted by the Hoops’ official Twitter account on Thursday afternoon.
💬 BR on Dedryck Boyata: "We’ll assess over the next 24 hours whether he’s going to be available or not."
More soon online and on @CelticTV.
— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) September 14, 2017
It’s definitely promising that Boyata could make his long-awaited comeback against Ross County this weekend, but it is unlikely that the ex-Manchester City man will be able to start having not played a competitive game since the end of last season.
The three-times Belgium international had an injury-hit campaign last time out having only played 22 times across all competitions due to a thigh injury which saw him miss every Champions League game all but one league game prior to the winter break.
Jozo Simunovic is once again set to be the man to rely upon once again on Saturday but it is not clear who will be partnering him with Mikael Lustig, Nir Bitton, Kieran Tierney and Kristoffer Ajer all in contention to play at centre-back.
In other Celtic news, Rodgers has also detailed a massive update about Dembele’s fitness.