Neil Lennon has confirmed that Celtic centre-back Christopher Jullien will stay in Germany for another week as he detailed the Frenchman’s recovery process.
Jullien has been out for over a month now with a back injury, with his last match being the 5-0 routing of Ross County in Dingwall back on September 12th.
Since then, the Hoops have struggled at the back with individual errors costing us dearly. Lennoxtown graduate Stephen Welsh also had to be thrown in against Rangers and AC Milan respectively due to our lack of options.
However, whilst Lennon admitted scans on Jullien’s back have revealed nothing significant, he admitted that he’s still a while away from getting back up to speed.
As quoted by the Glasgow Times, Lennon said: “He’s over in Germany having intensive treatment on his back. But we’re looking at a few weeks from now before he returns to training.
“Christopher’s receiving extensive, round-the-clock physiotherapy. He’ll stay over there for another week or so and we’ll assess him once he comes back. He’s had a lot of discomfort in his back, although the scans have shown nothing significant.”
Jullien’s recovery couldn’t come quickly enough
Lennon has been forced to go with the same centre-back duo of Shane Duffy and Kris Ajer ever since his backline was struck with a host of injuries/Covid-related concerns.
The likes of Hatem Elhamed and Nir Bitton have both been self-isolating in recent times, whilst Jullien has been undergoing treatment for his back injury. Getting all of them back and available for selection couldn’t come quickly enough.
However, Celtic are right to be cautious in Jullien’s case. When it’s as serious as a back problem, that isn’t an injury that should be swept under the carpet and treated with minimal care. The fact Jullien has had to go to Germany for a period of time shows exactly how vital a procedure Celtic believe this to be.
Having him back in as late as several weeks from now is an undoubted blow. We have mammoth fixtures against Lille, Aberdeen, Motherwell, Hibernian, and Sparta Prague coming up. We need a lot more at our disposal than two centre-backs. Lennon needs options.
It’s also evident that some of Jullien’s passing from the back has been missed. Whilst Ajer has been showing his ability to be an attacking outlet with his runs from deep, Jullien’s long balls in behind the opposition defence certainly hasn’t been replicated by Duffy.
Regardless, here’s hoping the Frenchman’s recovery procedure does the job and he can start making an impact on what will be a massive Christmas period for the club.