Tom Rogic set to miss Europa League clash, Nir Bitton out for the season
Tom Rogic’s hopes of returning to action in time for Celtic’s Europa League clash with Zenit St Petersburg at Parkhead on Thursday night appear to have been dashed.
The playmaker, who has missed the last two months with a knee injury, was looking to prove his fitness in an under-20s clash on Monday but the game was called off.
Adding to Celtic’s injury crisis, Brendan Rodgers has confirmed that Nir Bitton is probably out for the rest of the season with a knee problem.
The 26-year-old Israel international is ostensibly a midfielder but has been utilised more recently at centre-back by Rodgers, although he has been used sparingly with only three substitute appearances since the turn of the year.
Dedryck Boyata, Craig Gordon, Leigh Griffiths, Jonny Hayes, Anthony Ralston, Stuart Armstrong and Patrick Roberts are also injured, while Marvin Compper is ineligible to play in the competition.
Rogic returned to the bench for the Scottish Cup win over Partick Thistle on Saturday after a long lay off with a knee injury but is unlikely to feature against Roberto Mancini’s side.
“Overall, this year has been — in terms of injuries — tough,” Rodgers told the Telegraph.
“Nir Bitton will probably be out for the season which is a blow for us.
“He has an issue with his knee and probably needs an operation and that is probably him for the rest of the season.
“It is a shame for Nir because he has been an important member of our squad.
“We are hoping some of the others will be back sooner rather than later.”