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Callum McGregor: Celtic expect captain to return for derby visit to Rangers



Reo Hatate could make his comeback away to the Premiership’s bottom club this weekend after playing only 19 minutes for Celtic since October.

The Japan midfielder briefly returned from a hamstring injury at the start of the year, only to suffer calf problems during the Asian Cup.

Cameron Carter-Vickers is expected to play after being left out of the United States squad amid ongoing hamstring issues but wingers Yang Hyun-jun and Luis Palma are fitness doubts.

“Cameron is fine, Reo Hatate is back and available in the squad, which is great news,” said Rodgers. “He has worked very hard, he played a bounce game in the time off and he has built up his fitness.”

Livingston’s artificial pitch comes in for regular criticism and Rodgers said the surface was a factor in keeping McGregor out.

“You certainly have to consider it,” Rodgers said. “Like, for example Callum, you have to think along that route.

“There’s no doubt it comes into your thinking, especially on the back of an international break when players have been travelling.

“I think we are all hopeful in the future that we will have quality grass pitches here, that the supporters can see the best possible game they can, but at this moment we play on the plastic so we have to deal with that.

“Of course that means we have to think about team selection and the welfare of the player, and obviously from Callum’s perspective it’s probably too much of a risk for us.”

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