Hooper nears Hoops return
Gary Hooper stepped up his recovery from injury by scoring in a behind-closed-doors game against Motherwell.
By Ben Collins
Last Updated: 14/09/10 6:15pm
Celtic striker Gary Hooper stepped up his recovery from injury by scoring in a behind-closed-doors game against Motherwell on Tuesday.
Hooper is yet to play a league game for the Hoops after tearing a calf muscle during a pre-season friendly against Blackburn.
But the 22-year-old returned to training last week and moved closer to full fitness by playing in a 6-1 victory over a Motherwell XI at Lennoxtown.
The £2million summer signing from Scunthorpe will now push for a place in the squad for Sunday's league clash at Kilmarnock.
Niall McGinn also returned to match action following a lengthy lay-off from a broken metatarsal, an injury he suffered during the club's final training session of last season.
"It was a great run-out for some of the fringe players like Charlie Mulgrew, Mark Wilson and Marc Crosas, who all did well," said coach Danny McGrain.
"Niall McGinn lasted an hour and was very tired but he's been out a while and it won't do him any harm.
"We have a game next week and he will play in that too. He could train all week but it's just games he needs now.
"Gary Hooper did well too. He was a bit tired and sore but he got 90 minutes under his belt, which was great."