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Lennon wants Forrest fit for Juventus tie

Celtic manager Neil Lennon will throw James Forrest right back into action this weekend against Inverness in the hope of unleashing him against Juventus.

The 21-year-old talent made his first appearance for the Glasgow giants since December in Sunday's William Scottish Cup fifth-round win over Raith Rovers.

The winger struck the second goal in the Hoops' 3-0 success at Stark's Park, and impressed his boss so much with his pace, intent and fitness following a hamstring problem that he will now be cast back into the Celtic line-up for this weekend's trip to Inverness in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League.

Lennon now hopes that game will be enough to ready the player for the team's Champions League last-16 meeting with Juventus, after he was sent home from Scotland's Aberdeen training camp ahead of the national team's friendly with Estonia when concerns were raised about the effect of playing on a heavy Pittodrie pitch.

He told the Celtic View: "James is a brilliant player. You can see what he brings to us and he's desperate to play. We just need to drip-feed him in now gently and we have to be careful there's no reaction.

"He's a wonderful talent and one of the best Scottish players we've produced for a long, long time. I think the world of him as a boy but as a footballer there's so much he can offer.

"He's been training great and desperate to get back in but the physios have been holding him back. We've had to listen to them but it was great to get him some game time.

"We have the game up in Inverness next and we expect him to play and have him ready for Juventus.

"It was hugely important to get him some game time on Sunday. He makes us better, he drives everyone on, he excites people and got his goal.

"There are not many people who would score that goal - his turn of pace and quality of the finish was fantastic. To have him back gives us an extra dimension."

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