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Dembele too important to rush: McGarvey

 

By Andy Newport

Frank McGarvey has urged Brendan Rodgers not to put Celtic's Champions League slot at risk by rushing Moussa Dembele back for the final leg of his treble chase.

The Hoops' 32-goal top scorer is facing a six-week lay-off after injuring his hamstring in Sunday's 2-0 Hampden win over Rangers.

That is likely to rule him out of the remainder of the season, including the William Hill Scottish Cup final with Aberdeen on May 27. The runaway champions face Rangers again on Saturday, this time in the league at Ibrox.

Missing out on the opportunity to fire the Parkhead club to their first domestic clean sweep in 16 years would be a cruel blow for the French Under-21 international following a stunning debut campaign in Glasgow.

But former Celtic frontman McGarvey says Ulsterman Rodgers must resist the urge to hurry his ace poacher back for the Dons date when the club's crucial Champions League qualifiers kick-off just weeks later on July 11 or 12.

McGarvey said: "With a hamstring injury, even when you first think the injury is okay, you really have to leave it another 10 days just to be sure.

"If you come back too soon from that kind of injury then you can end up being out for another five or six weeks.

"The correct approach for Celtic to take with Moussa would be to say, 'Thanks pal, you've had a great season but that's it. Let's get you right for the Champions League qualifiers'.

"It's so important they can get him clear of this injury so he can start next season fresh."

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