Forrest fine for Juve clash - Lennon

10 February 2013 09:17

James Forrest has won his battle to be in the Celtic squad for their first leg of their Champions League last-16 clash against Juventus on Tuesday night, according to manager Neil Lennon.

The Scotland winger has been battling with a hamstring complaint and was again missing for the 3-1 Clydesdale Bank Premier League win over Inverness at the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium on Saturday.

The Celtic boss, who revealed that Kris Commons was taken off at the interval to keep him fresh for midweek, was upbeat about Forrest. He said: "Forrest is fine. He has had the two scans and he came through all clear so he will be in the squad."

Nick Ross gave Caley the lead but goals from Commons, debutant Rami Gershon and Miku saw an easy win for the visitors who, in making nine changes to the side that beat Raith Rovers in the William Hill Scottish Cup last week, rested most of their big guns with the visit of the Italians in mind.

Lennon appeared unimpressed when told that Rangers have reportedly offered Juventus their Murray Park training ground ahead of the tie. He said: "Have they? I wasn't aware of that. I have no comment to make on Rangers, they can do what they like."

Lennon was also pleased to see keeper Fraser Forster back in goal after recovering from a neck injury.

The former Hoops skipper said: "He is a wee but rusty but it was very important that he got game time. He is fine, there is no reaction to his injury and he will be ready for Tuesday."

The Northern Irishman is more uncertain about Georgios Samaras and Emilio Izaguirre who are battling to recover from their respective hamstring and knee problems. He said: "They are rehabilitating very well. I think Emilio will be fine, now we are waiting on Sami and we won't know, maybe until Monday."

The Hoops boss, however, admits that defender Efe Ambrose, who will be playing for Nigeria in the African Nations Cup final against Burkina Faso on Sunday night, will struggle to make the starting XI against Juventus.

He said: "I spoke to him last night and he seems to think he will be back on Monday evening or the early hours of Tuesday and again, we will assess him and see how he is."

Source: PA