Neil Lennon gives update on when Jozo Simunovic will return to side

By John Reid

December 14, 2019

Celtic have been without Jozo Simunovic for months. The Hoops centre-back had a knee operation in September, and has been out of action ever since.

The big defender hasn’t played for the Hoops since August, and in that time Kristoffer Ajer and Christopher Jullien have established themselves as the first choice centre-back pairing.

Now Hoops boss Neil Lennon has provided an update on Simunovic’s progress, and when he will return to the first-team.

“Jozo was away in Serbia at a Clinic” Lennon said, as reported by the Celtic View (Volume 55, Issue 23, Page. 06).

“In great shape”

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

“He’s come back and is in great shape although, obviously, he still has a bit of rehab to do, and we’ll see him in the second-half of the season.”

That is good news for Celtic. When Simunovic is available, he is a more than decent centre-back for the Hoops. It will also be good to a third proper defender in the squad, and not Nir Bitton, who although good on his day is still a centre-back.

Having Simunovic will put pressure on the duo of Ajer and Jullien to maintain their high level of performance. That can only be a good thing for Celtic.

First game after winter break probably too soon

(Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

It will be interesting to see when Simunovic makes his return to first-team action. It would be a bonus if he was in the squad for the first game after the winter break, against Partick Thistle in the winter break.

However, that might be too soon for the player. Still, it is promising for Celtic that the player has almost recovered from his injury.

Will that prevent the Hoops from signing a centre-back in the January transfer window? You would imagine so. When Simunovic returns to the squad, the Hoops will have three formidable centre-backs in their squad. Hopefully Simunovic returns to action sooner rather than later.