Gary Mackay-Steven discloses Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers' nice touch as midfielder continues recovery from injury

General view inside Celtic Park

The 25-year-old did not travel with the Scottish Premiership side on their tour of Slovenia.

Gary Mackay Steven celebrates with Stefan Johansen after scoring the second goal for CelticGary Mackay Steven

Gary Mackay-Steven has heaped praise upon Brendan Rodgers' man-management abilities after the Celtic boss phoned him from their pre-season tour to check how his recovery from injury was going, the Daily Mail reports.

The midfielder has not travelled with the Hoops squad to Slovenia and Austria, and the Mail reports that he will not be linking up with the squad in Gibraltar for the club's Champions League qualifier as he continues to recover from the ankle surgery he underwent at the end of last season.

Celtic's Gary Mackay Steven (R) in action with Greenock Morton's Lee Kilday

And while some would have been concerned that not being with the squad would have harmed his chances of getting back into the team once he is fit, Mackay-Steven has explained how his manager has kept in contact with him, and how it is motivating him in his recovery.

"The manager spoke to me before the squad left for Slovenia and he also called me while they've been away," he told the Mail.

"Even though it's early stages, you can tell he's a great man-manager who ensures you don't feel left out.

"If you are in my situation where you're not quite ready to train yet then it gives you an added incentive to get back out there.

"He didn't need to phone me to check on my progress as he could have heard it from the medical staff so it was a nice touch from him."

New Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers during the press conferenceCeltic manager Brendan Rodgers

The 25-year-old's concerns may have been exacerbated by the amount of players currently vying for a place in the Bhoys' midfield, as he may have feared that he was going to be well down the pecking order when he returned.

However, Rodgers reaching out to the former Dundee United man suggests that he either views Mackay-Steven as being an important part of his plans, or, if he has fallen down the pecking order, that he wants the midfielder to return to the first-team fully motivated to push for a spot in the side as it should push the rest of the squad to stay at the top of their game in an attempt to keep hold of their place.

Hamilton Academical's Michael Devlin (L) in action with Celtic's Gary Mackay Steven

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