Assistant manager Chris Davies has confirmed that Tom Rogic will not feature in Celtic’s starting eleven for the first leg against Zenit St. Petersburg on Thursday, as reported by Daily Record.
The attacking midfielder was an unused sub in the win over Patrick Thistle last weekend and was unable to get some game time with the development squad on Monday after their match against Motherwell was called off due to snow.
Brendan Rodgers had hoped to see Rogic out on the pitch before the Russians came to Glasgow but now, unfortunately, the Australian will not quite have the match fitness to start the game.
A knee injury saw the midfielder miss Celtic’s busy festive period and his slow recovery has forced out of the side for around two months with his last appearance coming in the home defeat to Anderlecht in December.
Speaking to the media, Davies confirmed that Rogic will be unable to start but hinted that he could make an appearance off the bench and also be an important asset for the Hoops in the second leg in Russia next week.
Tom’s a little bit further on (than some of the other injured players) in that he’s had a couple of week’s training and he’s going to be hopefully available in a week or so.
Ideally there was a development game he was going to play in because he needs to get some minutes. That’s usually the process players go through on their return.
He’s had some good training and he’s on his way back from being out for a while.
There’s little doubt that Celtic have missed the creative strengths of the 25-year-old but with Charly Musonda and Callum McGregor available for the game, Rodgers should have enough options for the number 10 role on Thursday.