Celtic manager Neil Lennon has confirmed that Kristoffer Ajer is a major doubt for the Old Firm derby on Sunday after picking up a groin injury in the 4-1 win against AIK last night.
The Norwegian international had to be taken off in the first half, and Lennon revealed after the match that the defender was unlikely to recover in time to face Rangers this weekend:
“It’s a groin strain, so Kris is going to be very doubtful for Sunday. He was just feeling it when he was running. He’s the type of player who won’t come off easily. He was worrying about it deteriorating. We will assess him on Friday and Saturday because he’s such a huge presence on the pitch.”
Fans on Twitter were disappointed with the news:
Disappointing stuff. Least we have plenty of suitable replacements signed in the transfer window in anticipation of this happening.
— Michael Tiernan 🏴🏴 (@michael_tiernan) 29 August 2019
— stew fin (@sfceltic86) 29 August 2019
Celtic fans every day pic.twitter.com/9VY1ANHaxa
— Clare (@ScotlandClare) 29 August 2019
No Ajer pic.twitter.com/cq7e3EnSRA
— Martin 🍀🇮🇪 (@MartinTheTim_) 29 August 2019
— Ryan Singleton (@ryansingleton01) 29 August 2019
Might need to get a couple of English Nans in to shore up the defence.
— Darbo (@DazMcQ) 29 August 2019
Some believed Anthony Ralston could deputise after performing well after replacing Ajer against AIK:
Ralston played very well tonight
— Vinny (@Vinny97696686) 29 August 2019
Not my 1st choice but nothing to fear after watching their performance tonight
— John Mc (@JPM1967) 29 August 2019
With Hatem Abd Elhamed also out for another couple of weeks with a minor hairline fracture, it means Ralston or new signing Moritz Bauer could be thrown into the mix.
The Austrian international has not played a competitive game this season and it would be a massive ask for him to make his debut in such a hotly contested fixture, especially away at Ibrox.