Australia’s next big star and Celtic secret weapon injured

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Long-touted as the man to lead Australia’s next generation of Socceroos, Celtic midfielder Tom Rogic is facing a spell on the sidelines through injury.

Currently on loan at Melbourne Victory, there was a time when 21-year-old Tom Rogic was regarded as the next big thing to come out of Australian football and the man to take Harry Kewell’s mantle as arguably the finest soccer player to emerge from the continent.

But, like the former Liverpool and Leeds United attacker later in his career, Rogic has struggled with injuries, while a lack of form also saw his impact at Celtic curtailed.

Signed by the Bhoys back in January 2013 with a view to gaining some extra sharpness ahead of the World Cup, the midfielder did demonstrate flashes of brilliance, with his debut against Inverness in February of that same year providing a prime example.

A tricky midfielder by trade, Rogic appeared to have hit the ground running after setting up Kris Commons for a goal in a fine debut display that earned him the Man of the Match Award.

Yet injuries and loss of confidence saw him go on to make just four first starts for the Hoops before a move back to Melbourne on loan.

That was supposed to provide him with the confidence boost required ahead of the World Cup, but instead the same old injury problems emerged and the midfielder was ultimately ruled out of the tournament after undergoing surgery for an adductor problem.

The tournament proved to be an encouraging one for the Socceroos, who held their own against the likes of Chile, Holland and Spain in a group they were never expected to progress from.

But while many of Australia’s young guns left Brazil boosted by what had occurred, Rogic remains back where he was before the tournament started – on the treatment table.

Speaking ahead of the upcoming Asia Cup in January – a competition the Antipodeans are due to host – Socceroos boss Ange Postecoglou revealed that the same adductor problem had returned and more surgery and more time on the sidelines was required.

"Tommy has had a little bit of a setback and my understanding is that he's had to have another operation which will mean another lengthy absence," he told reporters.

"That probably rules him out of Asian Cup calculations. He's still got a fair bit of work to do in rehab...Our medical department has been giving me regular updates. It's disappointing for him because he wants to get back playing."

And while the situation is a disappointing one for the national team, Celtic are likely to feel similarly, with many hoping Rogic will be the next young superstar to emerge from the Bhoys ranks.

Australian pair Scott McDonald and Mark Viduka both previously thrived during spells north of the border and while time is certainly on Rogic’s side, the Hoops would certainly benefit from a player of his considerable talents.

Celtic currently sit fourth in the Scottish Premiership after a run of just one win from their last four league games.

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