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Saturday 23 September 2017

Celtic to assess Dembele ahead of big PSG trip

Hamilton v Celtic Live tonight BT Sport 1, KO 7.45

Celtic’s Moussa Dembele
Celtic’s Moussa Dembele

Moussa Dembele will be assessed ahead of Celtic's opening Champions League game against Paris St Germain next Tuesday.

The 21-year-old striker has been sidelined since suffering a hamstring injury in July, but he has now returned to training after undergoing a rehabilitation programme at the French Football Federation's base in Clairefontaine.

Ahead of the Ladbrokes Premiership clash with Hamilton tonight, Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers revealed that 19-year-old striker Odsonne Edouard, on a season-long loan from PSG, could make his debut as a replacement for the injured Scotland striker Leigh Griffiths.

The Northern Irishman spoke positively about his other French striker Dembele, who has only played in the two Champions League qualifiers against Linfield this season.

He said: "He went to Clairefontaine in France for three weeks and did some great work with the medical team there, like he did here before he left.

"He is now back and we will assess him to see where he is at.

"The most important thing is that we can't risk it.

"Of course everyone would love to be involved in the Paris game but if not then he is not going to be too far away from that and then he is still going to have an impact for the remainder of the Champions League campaign, which is great news.

"But we have to be sure that he is right if he has any involvement in the game on Tuesday."

Rodgers will have no qualms bringing in Edouard for Griffiths, who is struggling with the calf injury he picked up while playing for Scotland against Malta on Monday.

He said: "I don't think Leigh can play tomorrow, it's as simple as that.

"He came off (on Monday) and he had a scan on his calf.

Hopeful

"We think he will be fine for Tuesday but yes, there is too much risk.

"Leigh took a knock on his calf and he has had these issues with his calves but we are hopeful this is not going to be that long and playing tomorrow night is a day too soon for him and that, with the AstroTurf pitch, is not ideal for him.

"Yes, there is a chance (Edouard could start).

"He is in the squad and once we finalise what the team will be then... he has played enough games to be upwards in his fitness.

"He is very quick, very dynamic, technically very strong, of course he is still adapting.

"I don't think he has ever trained at 11 o'clock in the morning in the rain and with the floodlights on.

"He looked a bit cold this morning.

"He will be adapting to Scottish football."

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