Celtic Assistant John Collins Hopeful Kris Common May Face Inter Milan
Celtic assistant boss John Collins remains hopeful Kris Commons will be fit to face Inter Milan in their last-32 tie at Parkhead on Thursday evening.
The midfielder was all but ruled out of the first leg after suffering a slight tear to his hamstring in the 2-0 Scottish Cup victory over Dundee 10 days ago.
Collins has been heartened by the 31-year-old's progress though, and has indicated he will be given until the last minute to declare his fitness.
“Kris has trained the last couple of days but they have not been full sessions,” Collins said. “But as every day goes by we are monitoring him. He will do a little bit more tomorrow, so we will see how he is tomorrow. I'd say his chances are about 50/50.
“It's a hamstring injury but it was only a slight one. You still have to be careful. We've got lots of games coming up. Yes this is a hugely important one and we'd love for Kris to be available but it would be daft to push him and risk further damage.”
Inter have had a frustrating season, winning just eight of their 23 Serie A games so far to leave them lingering in ninth place.
Roberto Mancini's team arrive at Celtic Park after hitting seven goals past Palermo and Atalanta on their way to back-to-back wins and Collins insists no one at Celtic is underestimating the threat they will pose.
“We're up against a very good side that is hitting a bit of form,” he said. “It looks like the manager is getting his ideas across to his players. So we'll be tested, that's for sure. But we're in a good place at this moment in time.
“Our players are doing their job all over the pitch working as one unit and looking sharp. We haven't been conceding while at the same time we've been creating lots of chances and scoring goals.
“As a coach that's what you want from your team. Was it always going to take time for that to happen? When you come in you want it to happen as quickly as possible but you have to be realistic. The most important thing is that we've seen gradual progress.
“We were disappointed with the early European results but this is a chance for the players to show that we have made progress.”
And Collins insists manager Ronny Deila will leave no stone unturned as he attempts to plot a victory over the three-time European champions.
“Ronny is very, very thorough in his preparations. It's all about the finest details with him. For me, that's his biggest asset. He leaves nothing to chance.”
Meanwhile, Collins confirmed no one at Celtic has any concerns over Inter Milan using the training facilities of Championship club Rangers ahead of the tie.
He said: “I'm not surprised. It's a terrific facility. It's nothing to do with us.”