By Laura O'Leary

2nd Jul, 2018 | 10:10am

Rodgers provides fitness update on Celtic star who recently suffered a knee issue

Brendan Rodgers shared that he expected Celtic attacker Moussa Dembele to be fit enough to feature for the club against Alashkert in their Champions League qualifier next Tuesday.

The Hoops manager revealed that even thought the 21-year-old forward suffered a slight issue with his knee the other day he will be involved in his club’s Champions League opener.

Rodgers also added that Dembele had lost weight and was looking really fit even though he returned for pre-season a little bit later than some of his teammates.

“Moussa came back a bit later than everyone else, but he looks really, really fit,” said Rodgers, as quoted by the Scottish Sun.

“He’s lost weight, he looks really good in his running. He’ll be fine.

“Moussa had a slight issue with his knee the other day and we took him out of one of the sessions.

Subscribe to Football Insider TV now

“We didn’t want to risk it and push him for the Bohemians game on Saturday, but he’ll be involved on Tuesday.

“All the players will be undercooked in terms of games, that’s the reality, but Moussa’s returned in good condition and we still have time to go.”

Football Insider verdict:

This is good news for Celtic as the 21-year-old forward is a player that the club need firing on all cylinders when possible. The Hoops star is expected, according to this report, to feature in the friendly against Sparta Prague which will be his first game of pre-season and that shows his knee issue can’t be that serious. Dembele scored 16 goals in 39 appearances in his 2017/18 campaign and will no doubt be aiming to score more goals in the upcoming season. The 21-year-old was no doubt disappointed not to score more last season as there were periods of the campaign where he clearly struggled to hit his best form. The talented forward has always shown that he is ambitious to do well, hence why he came to Celtic in the first place from Fulham, and will not want his pre-season disrupted with an injury. If his knee problem does turn out to be more than just a niggle then it could disrupt his 2018/19 campaign as suffering an injury during pre-season can unsettle a player as they miss out on vital fitness training.

In other Celtic news, Brendan Rodgers doesn’t expect the speculation to affect Tierney’s form

Don’t miss out on breaking and exclusive Celtic news by clicking here for our brilliant 24/7 updates on FacebookInstagram and YouTube.