Boyata to return to Celtic first team for Aberdeen & Rangers games

After missing the last four games through injury, Celtic defender Dedryck Boyata is set for a return to the first team in time for the double-header with Aberdeen and Rangers.

There was also further good news for manager Brendan Rodgers as Ryan Christie, Mikael Lustig, Tom Rogic and Kieran Tierney all returned to training this week.

Speaking to the press following today’s Europa League draw, Rodgers said: “Dedryck has a good chance for the Aberdeen and Rangers games — absolutely. Thankfully, his injury was only a slight, grade-one hamstring. He’s moving well outside, so we will see where he is at.

“He’s a big player for us. You see the solidity he gives. I like real pace in one of my centre-halves and he gives you that. He lets you squeeze your line and be nice and compact as a team. When he doesn’t play, we really miss him — but he will be back soon.”

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – DECEMBER 13: Ryan Christie of Celtic reacts after picking up an injury during the UEFA Europa League Group B match between Celtic and RB Salzburg at Celtic Park on December 13, 2018 in Glasgow, United Kingdom. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

The return of Ryan Christie to training is a welcome boost after he was carried off against RB Salzburg in last week with everyone at Celtic fearing the worst.

Rodgers added: “When Ryan was carried off, I feared the worst really. He came out of the stadium on crutches and went straight for the MRI scan. But that came up really positive and, in fairness to him, he’s thrown the crutches away now.

“Ryan is in such great form and doesn’t want it to end. But we have to be careful with him. He’s been out running on the grass and we will see how he goes for the rest of the week.”

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – AUGUST 08: Kieran Tierney of Celtic in action during the UEFA Champions League Qualifiing match between Celtic and AEK Athens at Celtic Park Stadium on August 8, 2018 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

There is hope that Kieran Tierney, Mikael Lustig and Tom Rogic will all be fit to face the festive double-header. Lustig picked up a head knock against Salzburg and is still feeling dizzy, while Tierney is looking to shake off a hip knock in time to face Motherwell on Wednesday night.

Aussie playmaker Tom Rogic has had an injection on a knee injury and could be set for a starting place against Dundee on Saturday, with surgery later in the year possible.