REPORT: CanMNT RB Alistair Johnston out for 3-4 weeks, expected to return for Scottish Cup final, Nations League semi-finals
Celtic's Treble-chasing hopes have taken a blow with the news that Canadian international Alistair Johnston will miss this weekend's potential title decider against Hearts with an ankle injury.
Johnston picked up the injury during Celtic's Scottish Cup semi-final win over Rangers this past weekend, as he was forced to withdraw after 54 minutes, before returning for his team’s celebrations sporting a walking boot and crutches.
The severity of Johnston's injury suggests that he is likely to be out for the next three to four weeks, according to journalist Scott Burns of Record Sport, a news outlet in Scotland. This means that the defender could miss most of Celtic's top six fixtures, which include crucial games against Rangers, Hibernian, and Aberdeen.
However, the Scottish Cup final against Inverness on June 3rd is still a possibility for Johnston's return, as it depends on how he reacts to treatment. Plus, it is expected to be fully fit for the Canadian Men's national team’s participation in the CONCACAF Nations League and Gold Cup this summer, slated to begin in mid-June with their Nations League semi-final against Panama in Las Vegas.
Since joining Celtic in January 2023, Johnston has been in fantastic form and has quickly become a key player for the Scottish giants. Johnston's impressive performances have helped Celtic maintain their position at the top of the Scottish Premiership table, and he has also been instrumental in their Scottish Cup campaign, as well as their successful Scottish League Cup triumph from earlier this year.
In just 13 league games, Johnston has made a significant impact, scoring one goal and providing one assist. He has been heavily involved in Celtic's attacking play, too, creating five big chances and making an average of 1.2 key passes per game. Johnston has also been effective in possession, with an impressive 87% pass accuracy per game and an average of 99.2 touches.
In addition to his attacking contributions, Johnston has also been very solid defensively. He has helped Celtic keep six clean sheets in the league, making an average of 1.8 tackles and 1.4 clearances per game. Johnston has also been effective at intercepting the ball, making an average of 1.1 interceptions per game.
While Johnston's form has been impressive, he has also faced some challenges since joining Celtic. He has been dribbled past an average of 0.4 times per game and commits an average of 1.2 fouls per game. However, he has also been fouled himself an average of 1.1 times per game, highlighting his ability to draw fouls and create opportunities for his team.
Johnston's success in adapting to the Scottish Premiership after three seasons in MLS is a testament to his talent and hard work. The 23-year-old has quickly adapted to the league and culture, and his performances have been a major factor in Celtic's success this season. His versatility has also been a key asset, as he has played in both right-back and center-back positions for the club.
As well as his impact with Celtic, Johnston's form will also be important for the Canadian national team this summer. He is expected to be a key player for Canada in the CONCACAF Nations League Gold Cup tournament, which takes place in July and August. Johnston's impressive performances for Celtic will give him confidence heading into the tournament, and he will be eager to continue his strong form for his country.
The Canadian international has been a breath of fresh air for Celtic, and his performances have quickly made him a fan favourite at Parkhead. His work rate, defensive skills, and attacking contributions have all been crucial for the team, and his adaptability has allowed him to make an impact in different positions on the field.
Johnston's form since joining Celtic has been outstanding. The Canadian international has quickly adapted to the Scottish Premiership and has become a key player for the club. His attacking contributions and defensive skills have been crucial for the team, and his versatility has allowed him to make an impact in different positions on the field. Johnston's form will also be important for the Canadian national team this summer, and he will be eager to continue his strong performances in the Nations League Gold Cup tournament.