Celtic defensive midfielder Nir Bitton could soon be in line for a return to action after almost a year on the sidelines with a knee injury, reports The Daily Record.

The Israel international saw a specialist in London after the Hoops played Kilmarnock last February.

Celtic utility man Bitton eventually underwent surgery and was shocked to find out that he could expect to be out of action for up to 12 months.

“It was a bad time for me, really tough for my family and everyone around me,” the 27-year-old told the paper.

Now, however, things are looking much brighter for Bitton, who has finally returned to Hoops training.

With Celtic leading rivals Rangers at the top of the Scottish Premiership table on goal difference only – albeit with a game in hand – manager Brendan Rodgers must be pleased to have him back.

The Bhoys boss will need to get the best out of his players – and use his squad fully – in the closing stages of the season.

Due to his lengthy absence, Bitton’s return is almost like a new signing for Celtic, who are next in action against Airdrieonians in the fourth round of the Scottish FA Cup.

However, the player himself is not taking anything for granted and admits that his time out of the game has given him a different perspective on things.

“I’m just happy to be back on the pitch with the guys,” the Celtic star said.

“Hopefully after the break I can get back playing.

“It was only after getting this injury I realised I need to appreciate every single minute of training, every single moment on the pitch.

“Because in one moment you can lose everything – and you can do nothing about it.”

Bitton has made more than 100 appearances for Celtic since signing from FC Ashdod in August 2013, scoring nine goals.

Although most commonly used in midfield, the useful squad player has also filled in at centre-half in big games when required and performed well.


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