Celtic: Injured Moussa Dembele hopeful of Scottish Cup final return

Celtic striker Moussa Dembele
Celtic striker Moussa Dembele injured his hamstring in the Old Firm Scottish Cup semi-final

Celtic striker Moussa Dembele hopes he can return from injury in time to face Aberdeen in the Scottish Cup final.

Dembele, 20, damaged his hamstring in last month's semi-final win over Rangers at Hampden.

The Frenchman, who has scored 32 goals this season, was expected to be sidelined for the final on 27 May, but believes he can still recover in time.

"There's a chance for me," Dembele said. "I'm working hard in the gym and we'll see what happens.

"I'm just trying to be fit every day. But I can't really tell you if I'll be fit.

"It would mean a lot [to play in the final], it's the last game of the season, the final and the chance to make the treble.

"We don't really set a target, like I have to be back for this day or this day. This kind of injury you have to be sure you are 100% fit when you get back.

"So I will just take my time, and if I'm fit before the final, it'll be good, but if not, I'll have to come back stronger."

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Premiership player of the year nominees

Dembele, a summer signing after he left Fulham as a free agent, has starred in his debut season in Scottish football, earning nominations for PFA Scotland's Premiership player and young player of the year awards, as Celtic continue their bid for an unbeaten domestic season.

Brendan Rodgers' side lifted the League Cup in November, then wrapped up the Premiership title last month, with the striker very much at the forefront.

Dembele has also emerged as a major tormenter of rivals Rangers, scoring five goals against the Ibrox side this campaign, including a hat-trick in the teams' first meeting of the season in September.

"This season has been great so far for me and the team," Dembele added.

"We played well and made the competition look easy, but we work hard every day in training as a team and show it on the pitch.

"The hat-trick in the derby against Rangers was the beginning of everything, I would say. Before this game, I scored a few goals, and these were my first league goals.

"It was a good moment for me and the team as well. Before, the supporters didn't really know who I was, because I just came from the Championship in England and I'm young, and in this game I think they saw."

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