Celtic star Nir Bitton's injury recovery must put him in contention for Glasgow derby

By John Reid

October 9, 2020

It is hard to believe that there were concerns over Nir Bitton’s fitness when he ended up playing 120 minutes for Israel in the Euro 2020 play-off against Scotland on Thursday night.

Bitton of course suffered an ankle injury in Celtic’s Europa League win over Sarajevo last Thursday. Hoops boss Neil Lennon said, as reported by 67HH, that the player would be out of action for three to four weeks following the injury.

Played entire international despite recent injury

However, that timetable has been proved wrong, and Bitton played the entire game and took a penalty in the shoot-out in the 0-0 draw on Thursday night.

Nir Bitton in action for Israel (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Bitton will be hugely disappointed to have lost the game on penalties. On a personal level he will be delighted to have recovered from his injury.

It will be interesting to see what Neil Lennon makes of all this. It is doubtful he will be happy that the Hoops star played an international so soon after suffering an injury.

However, he will be delighted that the player seems to be fit. Therefore, should he stay fit then he has to be in contention to feature for the Hoops in the Glasgow derby against Rangers next Saturday.

Seemed set for run in side before injury

Bitton has been in the team recently. He featured for the Hoops in the wins over Riga and Hibernian before suffering the injury against Sarajevo. He seemed set for a run in the team up until his ankle injury.

Celtic centre-back Nir Bitton (Photo by Paul Ursachi/MB Media/Getty Images)

Therefore, you have to imagine that if he comes through against the Czech Republic and Slovakia in the next week then Bitton will strongly feature in Neil Lennon’s plans to take part in the game.

Bitton didn’t play in defence for Israel. However, you imagine that if he starts for Celtic in the derby that is where he will play.

It might not have been the best night results wise for Bitton. It was a good night for proving his fitness though. Hopefully he is able to feature for the Hoops against Rangers. He is more than capable of turning in a good display if he is selected.

In other news, take a look at Diego Laxalt’s first day of training at Celtic.