Kyogo is still nowhere near full fitness, Ange confirmed today, indicating that the Japanese forward might be missing all the way up to the next international break at the end of next month. That would rule him out of every single of the fixtures in March.
To say we’ve had a time of it with this situation is an understatement. Kyogo made it back for the cup final, and scored the two goals, but he clearly wasn’t fit and hasn’t played since coming off in the following game. It was a blow at the time, but we all thought that the injury wasn’t serious and that he’d soon be back scoring goals for the team.
It hasn’t happened that way, and we’re looking at around another month before we’ll see him back. That already puts him in a race against time for Ibrox in early April, but Ange seems more optimistic that he’ll be with us for those.
In the immediate future, we are clearly going to have do without him though, a blow which his less severe with Giakoumakis and Maeda available to the manager, and Abada as an option should it come to that. It’s not great, but it’s not a disaster.
One would assume that David Turnbull is on the same recovery timeline, and he too has been a loss to the team since he got injured.
When these guys went down, Kyogo had 16 goals in 26 games. Turnbull had 9 goals in 34 goals when he got injured. Both players have been missed, but both badly needed a break from constant football, with Kyogo arriving here right after a punishing schedule in Japan.
As I said in a piece earlier today, we’re not going to see the best of this team until next season, and if we can win the title and secure Group Stage football, the most positive element of that, even accounting for the money on offer, is a calmer summer than we’ve had in many a year. The benefits of that will be obvious when we have a fully fit squad.
Kyogo may still make an impact in this campaign of course … if he’s fit by April we will be getting him back at just the right time to do some severe damage. The key is not to rush him. We’ve done that once already and this is the result of that.