Alistair Johnston on crutches after leaving Scottish Cup semi-final with ‘significant’ injury
Updated: April 30, 1:54 p.m. ET
Alistair Johnston got one over again on Celtic’s arch-rivals Rangers and moved one step closer to winning another trophy with the green and white side of Glasgow on Sunday.
This was Johnston’s fourth Glasgow Derby since moving to Scotland in January and, as he always does against the Gers, he had enjoyed a good game in Celtic’s 1-0 Scottish Cup semi-final win. He kept Rangers winger Ryan Kent so quiet that his opponent was substituted at half-time.
But it wasn’t all smiles for the Canadian. Not at all.
Johnston limped off injured shortly after half-time after he was unable to continue following a collision. It looked like a sore one, as the right-back came off worse from a 50/50 tackle with Borna Barisic.
The 24-year-old appeared to be in some pain as he was helped off the pitch and subsequently reappeared on the Celtic bench on crutches and with his right ankle in a moon boot.
That didn’t stop him celebrating at full-time, though.
Classic Ali. Although he did admit on Instagram that he “might regret that tomorrow.”
“He got a sore one,” Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou said post-game. “He wouldn’t have come off unless it was a significant one, but we’ll wait and see. He was throwing his crutches around at the end of the game. You know what it’s like, they feel no pain afterwards. But we’ll have a look at it and see what he’s like tomorrow.”
It will be a major concern for Canada fans with a busy summer of tournament action on the horizon beginning with the CONCACAF Nations League finals in just six weeks’ time.
As the European club season enters the business end, and with the top clubs in many leagues navigating a packed schedule with tiring players, this is the second significant injury to a leading CanMNT star in the space of eight days.
Last weekend, Alphonso Davies suffered a hamstring strain that it is thought could well end his season prematurely.
Since he made his debut for Canada on March 25, 2021, as a substitute against Bermuda in the first round of 2022 World Cup qualifying, Johnston has missed just two games for the national team in over two years. We will have to wait for an update this week once Johnston has undergone scans and diagnosis, but given the boot and the crutches, you’d have to speculate that his stellar track record of appearances may be under threat this summer.
The silver lining for John Herdman will be Richie Laryea’s excellent form for Toronto FC in Major League Soccer. Any lengthy injury absence for Johnston, while undoubtedly a blow, could also open the door to the likes of Mo Farsi, who has been impressing for Columbus Crew.