When David Turnbull pulled up injured in the League Cup Final win over Hibs you could tell it was a bad one. The player, who also almost missed out on a move to Celtic through injury, looked visibly upset as he left the Hampden pitch in December, and the injury did indeed involve a long recuperation period alongside the solitude of rehab, as he watched his teammates kick on and make it to the cusp of winning back the League title.
19th December 2021; Hampden Park, Glasgow, Scotland; Scottish League Cup final, Hibernian versus Celtic: David Turnbull of Celtic pulls up with an injury as play continues around him
Of course, we don’t get to see, nor have many of us experienced, what it’s like to go through a lengthy period of injury or the impact mentally as you force yourself through individual training plans while watching the team carry on, but It can be no easy journey for any player particularly when Turnbull admits to having felt the fittest he ever had prior to picking up his hamstring injury.
For Turnbull now all of that is now forgotten, with the player admitting as reported in Daily Record he’s simply glad to be back and hoping to be involved in the title run-in as well as a huge play-off game for Scotland with Ukraine on the horizon.
“It’s a good time to come back, I wish it was a bit sooner. But the first half of the season I really enjoyed. I felt the fittest I have ever been and I was just enjoying my football trying to help the team out.
“I just hope there is more of that to come. I’ve loved it – up until the injury. That was a bit of a strange one and hard to take.
“I’m feeling good and it could have helped me in the long run. Maybe not at the time but I’m looking forward to the rest of the season. There are a lot of big games coming up, so hopefully I’ll be involved with them. And then in the summer I’ll hopefully be involved in that as well.
“It (Ukraine) is one of the biggest games the country has had for a good number of years now, so just to be involved in that would be exciting. You don’t get much holidays these days, especially with internationals. There are plenty of games in the summer for boys to be there and I am hoping for that chance to go there feeling fit.”
19th December 2021; Hampden Park, Glasgow, Scotland; Scottish League Cup final, Hibernian versus Celtic: David Turnbull of Celtic pulls up with an injury and is treated by Celtic medical staff
The next step this season for Turnbull is getting more game time under his belt and helping push Celtic over the line in the title race, yet the upside of the injury may well be that the player will be fresher than some of his international teammates as he looks to push his way from squad player to first team contender for Steve Clarke and Scotland.
Ange Postecoglou certainly admires David Turnbull, after all at one stage he was the un-droppable one from this Celtic team earlier in the season, and the manager was very complimentary about the way the player set about the arduous task of dealing with his rehabilitation. And it appears the feeling is mutual when it comes to respect – with Turnbull talking up the impact his boss has made on Celtic since arriving last summer.
15th December 2021; Victoria Park, Dingwall, Scotland, Scottish Premier League football, Ross County versus Celtic; Regan Charles-Cook of Ross County brings the ball away from David Turnbull of Celtic
“He’s been a breath of fresh air since he came in and you’re always happy to hear him saying good stuff about you.”
Next step for Turnbull will be to regain a starting place in the title run-in, and with Reo Hatate admitting to feeling mental and physical fatigue that opportunity may well come as soon as this weekend’s game with Hearts.