On Tuesday at Lennoxtown Neil Lennon will catch up with his squad and begin preparations for the most important part of the domestic season.
Seven SPFL matches in December have to be negotiated alongside one dead-rubber Europa League tie and the final of the Betfred Cup, ticking away in the background is a growing injury list.
There has been nothing dramatic involved but almost on a weekly basis someone is being added to the treatment room with the striking positions particularly badly affected.
There have been a few videos posted on Instagram but no real idea when he will be back in action. His last match was at home to AIK at the end of August with a knee issue identified. A four-month absence was suggested, after the January break to Dubai he should be available but behind Christopher Jullien and Kris Ajer for a place.
Picked up a slight hamstring strain during the Betfred Cup semi-final against Hibs on November 2, forcing him to miss the matches against Lazio and Motherwell. He was virtually an ever present upto that stage, hopefully he will be available again soon but Jonny Hayes and Greg Taylor are very capable replacements.
Hatem Abd Elhamed
Appeared to suffer a very painful groin injury late on in the win over Lazio in Rome. It looks like he will be missing for a month which runs close to the winter break. Moritz Bauer and Jememie Frimpong provide strong competition at right-back with Lee O’Connor also an option.
Picked up some sort of injury during a substitute appearance at Aberdeen on October 27 with just a couple of Instagram posts since then to provide updates on his knock. Neil Lennon badly needs striking alternatives to Odsonne Edouard for the demanding December programme.
Hasn’t played any football since a 15-minute run out against Hearts at the end of August. After last week’s win over Motherwell Lennon hoped that the striker would be fully fit in a fortnight. A fully fit Griff would be an early Christmas present for everyone at the club.
This has been a bit of a mystery. A thigh strain picked up during the win at Ibrox at the start of December seemed routine but almost three months later Johnston has still to return to the side. He did make the bench for the Betfred Semi against Hibs but appears to have suffered a set-back since then.
On Friday new broke that he had returned to Celtic to deal with a foot injury that forced him out of the Norwegian international squad. His arrival was perfectly timed to replace Johnston. The on-loan Southampton man has plenty of goals in him and is a potential striking option if anything should happen to Edouard.