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Clement falls silent over John Souttar’s mystery injury

Out of all of his walking wounded John Souttar is the only player that Phil Clement has ruled out of facing Celtic at Hampden on Saturday.

Ridvan Yilmaz was in tears earlier this week but could play, Leon Balogun has a possibility but the former Hearts defender is out. No chance of playing or making the bench, just like his defensive colleague Connor Goldson who is reported to have suffered a knee injury in training after being ‘rested’ for successive matches.

Souttar started the last match against Celtic on May 11, appeared to get through the first half without any problems but was surprisingly substituted at half time as Clement shuffled his team following John Lundstram’s red card.

The former Hearts defender has cemented his place in Clement’s side, starting in 15 matches from February 14 topped up by a comical 20 minutes in Amsterdam as the roof fell in on Scotland against Holland.

On May 11 after the 2-1 defeat away to Celtic Football Scotland reported:

Philippe Clement has confirmed John Souttar picked up an injury and that was behind his substitution during Rangers’ defeat to Celtic.

The centre-back was subbed for winger Ross McCausland at the break, with Dujon Sterling moving back to partner Ben Davies in the heart of defence, as the Gers trailed 2-1 and had just had John Lundstram sent off. There was a bit of confusion at the time and Sky Sports explained on air that it was their understanding the 27-year-old had NOT picked up a knock.

However, Clement has now confirmed the opposite and says he had to make the change due to an injury. Asked to explain it, he said: “That he had an injury so we were forced to do that change. No, we don’t know yet.”

Since that match there has been radio silence on big Soapy, no detail on the injury although he was named in Steve Clarke’s 28 man squad for the European Championships on Wednesday.

Sky Sports get their information from somewhere. Souttar’s substitution at half-time against Celtic was very strange and resulted in Dujon Sterling switching from right wing to centre half, his place going to Ross McCausland.

Someone inside the away dressing room decided to tell Sky Sports that there was no injury to Souttar, a fortnight later he has been ruled out of playing in a cup final against Celtic to prove his fitness for Scotland duty.

Yesterday, covering injuries Clement told The Sun:

Souttar for sure won’t be available. With Leon, there is a possibility. I’m not a doctor, so we can’t speak about injections, but all the players want to play in this game.

Some want to go really on the edge to be there, to play that game. So we are going to need to make smart decisions without taking too much risk.

It seems that Souttar doesn’t want to play tomorrow, or is it his manager that doesn’t want him to be involved with his season coming to a halt in the away dressing room at Celtic Park on May 11?

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