Centre-back Christopher Jullien has told Celtic fans that he’s back running as normal once again, as he updated us all on his injury recovery.
Jullien has been out of action since tearing his knee ligaments back in December. In a 3-0 win against Dundee United, Jullien crashed his knee against a post as he desperately cleared a goal-bound effort.
Initially, it looked as though he was going to be out for as many as nine months – potentially keeping him out of action until November [Daily Record]. The Scottish Sun, however, reported that he could be ready to make his return in August.
Today, the Frenchman himself has been speaking to Celtic TV. And fortunately for supporters, it appears he really is on the mend ahead of the new campaign:
“I’m good. Last time that I worked in France, I was starting to run. I was good. I was running like before, so I was really happy. Now we’re just going to keep going and working a little bit more on my strength and take back my strength.
“I can feel that my leg is still not at the same size. I still have some deficit in some parts and I just can’t wait to be back on the pitch with my teammates and have that feeling with the ball again.”
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Every time Jullien provides a further update, the news just gets more and more positive. The fact he’s now able to run as normal without much pain is a major boost in his recovery process.
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The sooner he’s back, the better. Not just because it’s another senior player returning to the fold, but because we could have something of a centre-back crisis if he isn’t back soon.
Kris Ajer looks set to depart at some stage this summer. Shane Duffy, meanwhile, has long since departed. That means we could only have Stephen Welsh and Nir Bitton available for the start of the new season. That’s even if we don’t sell the latter, who’s been linked with a move back home to Israel in recent months [Scottish Sun].
Whilst the Champions League qualifiers look too early for him to return for, it would be ideal if he’s back for the early stages of the league campaign. If he was missing for several months or so, that likely would’ve sprung Celtic into early action at the back.
Not that we won’t be strengthening in that position regardless – we’ll need a replacement for Ajer should he go. But if Jullien is back early, that buys us some time. It really all depends on when Celtic decide to cash in on the Norwegian.
But Jullien’s influence on the team was easy to see last year. In the nine league matches he played during the 2020/21 season, we didn’t lose a single one of them. In fact, seven results in victories with six ending in clean sheets [Transfermarkt]. Considering how poor at the back we generally were last season, it’s no coincidence we were tighter with Jullien in there.
Fingers crossed the rest of his recovery continues to go smoothly.