Celtic star Tom Rogic still not close to a return

By David Walton

July 24, 2019

Tom Rogic’s injury problems still aren’t close to being over, according to Neil Lennon.

The Australian number 10 has been out since the start of pre-season, and hasn’t played in any pre-season or competitive games so far. Rogic is currently way behind the rest of the squad regarding their fitness as it stands.

Once again, the Aussie is struggling with an ankle injury. It’s something he apparently picked up in the Scottish Cup final win against Hearts – a whole two months ago at this point.

Tom Rogic apparently injured his ankle against Hearts two months ago (Alan Rennie/Action Plus via Getty Images)

Lennon was asked about Rogic’s situation during his pre-match press conference for Nomme Kalju (Celtic TV). And, in an uninspiring update, the Hoops boss couldn’t give a return date for the attacker.

“He’s doing a lot of rehab work at the minute. So, again, he’s just in his rehab. He’s simply a week down the line from last week. I can’t give you a timescale on that. It’s not a long-term injury, but in terms of his condition he’s missed a lot of pre-season work.

“He has to catch up on that.”

Tom Rogic’s injury has already been long-term

From here on it may not be that Rogic is out for the long-term. But, the truth is that it’s been just under nine weeks since we beat Hearts to secure the treble-treble. Therefore, it’s just under nine weeks since Rogic apparently picked up his injury.

He missed the majority of the second half of last season through injury too. He hasn’t made a big contribution to the club, in all honesty, since the 2017-18 campaign. His run of injury problems continues to hamper his development.

Rogic is still apparently recuperating (David Young/Action Plus via Getty Images)

What it does mean is that Celtic can probably rule out any form of interest from Zenit St Petersburg. Rogic was reportedly the subject of £9million interest from the Russians (The Herald). At the moment, you would struggle to see anyone coming in for him with that kind of money.

It doesn’t help big Tam that his immediate rival in the squad, Ryan Christie, has started the season well. Christie notched the opener against Sarajevo in last week’s Champions League victory. Another tonight against Nomme Kalju, and it’s fair to say he’ll be cementing his place as our first-choice number 10.

Ryan Christie could make life difficult for Rogic when he returns (Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

It could take Rogic weeks to get up to full fitness with the rest of the squad too. Considering he’s missed the entire pre-season schedule, it could be the case that we don’t see the Aussie until midway through the first-half of the campaign.

It’s yet another blow for the supporters, who absolutely adore Rogic unconditionally. He has plenty of lost time to make up for when he returns, and hopefully, that’s exactly what he does.