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Rodgers plays down new injury fears

Brendan Rodgers has played down injury fears over Nicolas Kuhn.

After half a dozen unconvincing performances since his January move from Rapid Vienna the winger was one of the few bright spots as Celtic laboured to a 4-2 win over Livingston to reach the semi-finals of the Scottish Cup.

Kuhn made his mark from the early minutes with his fast direct play down the right flank, creating chances and troubling Livingston throughout, cutting inside he delivered the defence splitting cross that allowed Daizen Maeda to open the scoring in the seventh minute.

With the match level at 2-2 Kuhn pulled up with what looked like a muscle strain, it was the last thing that Celtic needed but Rodgers was quick to downplay fears of another hamstring injury.

1 minute 55 seconds

Nicolas Kühn, was it a hamstring injury he came off with?

He just felt a bit of tightness. He’s obviously not played a great deal. That was much more like what we would expect from him in the game, more direct, more running and aggression, so that was nice. Then, my joy was complete when James Forrest came on because just seeing that quality with how he receives and takes the ball was great to see.

In another interview Rodgers out the substitution down to cramp.

Kuhn signed for Celtic on January 16 but missed the Scottish Cup tie at home to Buckie Thistle due to dental work then made his debut a week later with a 30 minute appearance against Ross County.

A ‘goal’ heavily deflected away to Aberdeen failed to lift his game while an ineffective hour at Motherwell saw him drop out of contention with Yang Hyun-jun taking the chance to impress as that match was turned around.

With Daizen Maeda scoring a hat-trick, Kuhn looking like a £3m signing and Yang showing some form before his red card Rodgers might start to have some winger options. Plus James Forrest!

Callum McGregor’s absence alongside that of Cameron Carter-Vickers creates a real leadership vacuum in the Celtic side but 20 minutes of Forrest coming off the bench could add that missing touch of experience and know how.

With one match to go before an international break Rodgers will be keen to pick up full points from St Johnstone on Saturday and avoid any more injuries.

After that it is the final sprint for trophies with the trip to Ibrox on April 7 looming large, before that Livingston must be overcome again with the surface at Tony Macaroni Arena not ideal for anyone returning from muscle problems.

CLICK HERE for Kuhn’s appearances this season.

CLICK HERE for Shinnie hits out as Beaton suspends him from Scottish Cup semi-final.

CLICK HERE for the full SFA charge again Rodgers.

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