The Scottish Sun have claimed that Celtic defender Filip Benkovic could return in time to take on Rangers at the end of March from an ankle injury.
The 21-year-old has been sidelined since the end of January, last featuring in the 3-0 win over Hamilton at Parkhead in the Scottish Premiership. He has subsequently missed nine league and cup outings.
On loan from Brendan Rodgers’ new side Leicester City, Benkovic has returned to light training. But he is not expected to resume full training until at least next week.
Before his injury, the Croat was one of the first names on the team sheet. He has managed 23 appearances in all competitions for the Hoops, scoring two goals and helping his loan side keeping 15 clean sheets.
In his place, the likes of Dedryck Boyata, Kristoffer Ajer and Jozo Simunovic have impressed. But Benkovic is likely to slot back in alongside Belgium international Boyata, and there could be no better timing than to face Rangers.
Celtic have certainly been solid in Benkovic’s absence. But after losing 1-0 to Rangers last time out, Neil Lennon needs to get his Celtic side firing on all cylinders.
There is no better way to do that than playing your best side and Benkovic is certainly a part of that. Ajer is certainly showing signs of potential but the Norway international is still young.
Simunovic, meanwhile, is one of those defenders that has a calamity in him. Starting Benkovic is crucial, and against Rangers it will be an enormous boost.