Celtic striker Patryk Klimala got close to a full match of football under his belt for the Polish U21 side tonight.
He represented his country in UEFA U21 Championship qualifying against Bulgaria, starting the match and leading the line until being substituted off in the 83rd minute, as per UEFA.
The fixture ended 1-1, leaving the young Polish side second in their group.
Klimala played a big part in the goal, rattling the crossbar before his teammate finished off the chance.
The Celtic forward had been suspended for the U21s’ first match of the current window.
In an international break full of negatives for Celtic, this should be seen as a real positive for Klimala and manager Neil Lennon.
The 21-year-old has started just one match for the Bhoys so far this season, making ten of his 11 appearances from the bench.
With Celtic’s attacking options taking a blow recently because of pandemic-related drama, Klimala’s run out tonight tops up his fitness ahead of the match against Rangers on Saturday.
Odsonne Edouard returns to the country late this week, and there is no guarantee he’ll be able to face off against Steven Gerrard’s side.
Albian Ajeti is still on the comeback trail from a hamstring injury, and Leigh Griffiths has played even less football than Klimala this season.
Ryan Christie meanwhile is definitively ruled out of the fixture.
Klimala, who scored a brilliant goal against St Johnstone last time out, has a real shot of playing a big part in the derby either from the start of the fixture or off the bench.
The youngster will be further buoyed by his participation tonight and will hopefully return to Lennoxtown fit, healthy and ready to go for the weekend.