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Celtic boss offers update on Nir Bitton

23rd January 2018, Firhill Stadium, Glasgow, Scotland; Scottish Premiership football, Partick Thistle versus Celtic; Nir Bitton and Jozo Simunovic chat on the pitch

Nir Bitton hasn't kicked a ball for Celtic since February.

Nir Bitton of Celtic in action during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Celtic FC and Motherwell FC at Fir Park on April 9, 2016 in Glasgow, Scotland.

Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers has revealed that stricken Nir Bitton is making positive strides in his return from a long-term injury.

The Israel international hasn't kicked a ball for the Hoops since February due to a knee problem.

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Bitton had worked his way back to full fitness during the summer, but suffered another knee issue.

But it looks like the 27-year-old is very close to returning to first-team action with Rodgers's side, after the Celtic boss told The Glasgow Evening Times that he played an hour during a bounce game that was arranged for him on Tuesday.

 

He said to The Glasgow Evening Times: “It is still too early for him [to play Salzburg in the Europa League tonight].

“He played 60 minutes on Tuesday for a game that was arranged for him. It is great to see him back on the field again.”

It's good news for the Hoops, but is there room at Celtic for him anymore?

The landscape has changed since the big midfielder last played under Rodgers. If the likes of Olivier Ntcham and Scott Brown can't get into the Northern Irishman's best XI then, with respect, how is Bitton going to?

That being said, he is an extremely versatile player and can do jobs in several roles - including right-back and centre-back, but he hasn't exactly covered himself in glory in those positions in years gone by.

3rd February 2018, Rugby Park, Kilmarnock, Scotland; Scottish Premiership football, Kilmarnock versus Celtic; Nir Bitton avoids the challenge of Kris Boyd

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