Celtic have been dealt a major blow heading into their Europa League group stage match against AC Milan.
The games start to come thick and fast as the Europa League gets under way in a couple of weeks. But so do positive tests now, amidst news that Zlatan Ibrahimovic could have missed the Celtic v AC Milan tie.
Reports from Sky Sports indicated that AC Milan’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic was very unlikely to be able to play in the opening Europa League group tie at Celtic. That could have been good news for the Hoops as the striker, even at 39, is a constant goal threat. But that’s all turned around in a couple of hours with the star now boasting of beating the virus after a new negative test.
It does mean Celtic’s recent transfer day convert from Milan, Diego Laxalt, could be up against his previous teammate. The Uruguayan has been cleared to play if selected despite the loan deal between the two clubs.
Ibrahimovic is one of a growing number of players testing positive for the virus over recent days. For the Swede it was doubly disappointing as it was his second positive test.
A further test though has now given a negative result leading to Ibrahimovic proclaiming his recovery:
“You’re healed! Health authorities have been warned, the quarantine has ended. You can go out!”
The isolation rules vary from country to country as we’ve seen recently for Celtic players. In Italy a positive test would have meant Ibrahimovic isolating for 14 days. But that’s no longer the case and he should be available for both the Milan derby on 17th October and the trip to Glasgow for the match against the Hoops on Thursday 22nd October.
Celtic’s own casualties, Ryan Christie and Odsonne Edouard, despite only one positive test between them, are underway with their own isolation currently. They too are expected to be available for selection for the Milan game. It doesn’t sound though as if this will be anywhere near the last instance potentially ruling players out of travel or games. Let’s hope it remains manageable over the rest of the international break.