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Report: Celtic to be boosted by return of injured defender for run-in and Old Firm date

Jozo Simunovic is scheduled to begin full training in the next fortnight and could be fit to return by April.

Celtic have been handed a boost with the news that defender Jozo Simunovic could be fit to return to first-team action by the start of April, according to a report from the Scottish Sun.

The Croatian joined the Bhoys from Dinamo Zagreb at the start of September, and had made 17 appearances in all competitions for the club before sustaining a knee injury in January which has seen him miss the last eight matches.

Upon being looked at following his injury, it was revealed the 21-year-old had actually been playing with a broken bone in his knee for up to two months.

That has led to concerns over reintroducing Simunovic into first-team action too early, but the Sun reports that the defender has begun jogging at the club's training ground and hopes to return to full training by the end of next week.

The Scottish Premiership clash with Hearts on 2 April has been earmarked as a realistic comeback date, and one which would leave the centre-back with over two weeks to play himself back in before the Scottish Cup semi-final meeting with Rangers.

Simunovic's return would come as a big boost to Ronny Deila, who will be desperate to have as many members of his squad available to him as possible with the Hoops still in the hunt for a domestic double in the final months of the season.

The defending champions are four points clear of Aberdeen at the top of the league table as they chase a fifth league title in a row.

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