Injury worries for Hoops

Lennon faces anxious wait over duo ahead of Helsinki clash

Neil Lennon: Faces an anxious wait over fitness of Commons and Stokes

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Celtic boss Neil Lennon has injury concerns over Kris Commons and Anthony Stokes ahead of Wednesday night's UEFA Champions League qualifying clash against HJK Helsinki at Parkhead.

Commons' fine strike just before the break gave the Hoops the lead in the 1-1 home friendly draw against Inter Milan on Saturday but he hobbled off near the end leaving Celtic to finish the game with 10 men after they had used all their outfield substitutes.

Striker Stokes was carried off on a stretcher in the first half after blocking a clearance from Esteban Cambiasso and he too is a worry ahead of the first leg of the Hoops' third qualifying round first leg against the Finnish side.

The Celtic boss said: "They both have got badly twisted ankles so the next 24 hours are really important as to how they react.

"I think Kris would be a bigger doubt at the minute than Anthony but I will give them as long as possible to see if they can recover for the game on Wednesday.

"Anthony was a blocked challenge while Kris seemed to slip on the turf and go over on it.

"Sometimes they can be the worst ones, when there is nobody near you, all your weight can go on the supporting leg so he was quite swollen almost immediately.

"I don't think there is any lasting damage but it might be a push for him to be fit for Wednesday."


Lennon was more optimistic when explaining the absence of Scott Brown, Kelvin Wilson, Thomas Rogne, James Forrest and Beram Kayal.

He said: "Brown is just precautionary, he is still coming back from surgery in June so we don't want to overwork him.

"Rogne was rested. James got a bang on his foot in training, he had it X-rayed this morning so he should be okay.

"Kelvin Wilson has shin splints; you get them at this time of the year with hard grounds.

"He has been for a scan and it is some soft tissue so he should be okay for Wednesday.

"Beram Kayal has done some extra work and will train on Monday as well."