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Wednesday 22 November 2017

Rodgers hopeful Dembele will be fit for Cup final

Celtic’s Moussa Dembele
Celtic’s Moussa Dembele

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers has not ruled Moussa Dembele out of the Scottish Cup final.

The French striker pulled up in the first half of the 2-0 semi-final win over Rangers on Sunday with a hamstring injury.

It was believed that the 20-year-old would play no further part in Celtic's season but the Hoops boss claimed he still "has a chance" of facing Aberdeen at Hampden on May 27.

"He will be out for the foreseeable future," added Rodgers ahead of their Ladbrokes Premiership contest with Rangers at Ibrox tomorrow (live Sky Sports 1, kick-off 12.0).

"He had his scan on his hamstring. We will monitor him and assess it over time and see how he reacts.

"There is a period of time with individuals with hamstrings which is never to say that he can't be back within that.

"He was on a bike today and moving the hamstring so we will see.

"It is a hamstring tear, not overly serious, but we will assess it over the next two to three weeks."

Celtic skipper Scott Brown's Ross County red card has been downgraded to a yellow on appeal which frees him to play against Rangers tomorrow.

The Hoops midfielder was sent off against the Staggies on April 16th for a foul on Liam Boyce during the 2-2 Ladbrokes Premiership draw in Dingwall.

Brown's appeal allowed him to play in the 2-0 Scottish Cup semi-final win over the Light Blues at Hampden Park last Sunday.

And after a Scottish FA disciplinary tribunal met at Hampden today to consider his claim of wrongful dismissal, the appeal was upheld with the sending off reduced to a caution.

Brown will play in the Old Firm derby at Ibrox but the yellow card takes him over the disciplinary threshold which triggers a two-game suspension which means he will sit out the subsequent matches against St Johnstone and Aberdeen.

Meanwhile, Pedro Caixinha insists there is no discord among his Rangers squad over his plans for pre-season.

Reports suggest the Portuguese is set to extend his players' summer holiday in order to head off a brewing row after originally granting them just a 10-day break. It was claimed those plans had caused friction with the likes of skipper Lee Wallace and striker Joe Garner as they were having to rearrange wedding plans.

But Caixinha says his men are on board with his training schedule as they plot an early return to action when the Europa League qualifiers kick off on June 29.

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