CELTIC’S stand-in skipper Charlie Mulgrew has blamed HIMSELF for his injury hell this year.
The versatile midfielder/defender has played a mere 67 minutes for the first team since the turn of the year.
Mulgrew suffered a knee injury against Partick Thistle on December 3 – and was sidelined for five months until his reappearance after the interval in the 0-0 draw with St Johnstone and his 22-minute cameo in the 5-0 rout of Inverness Caley Thistle on Sunday.
The 29-year-old explained: “I injured a hamstring tendon behind my knee during the match at Firhill.
“I was out for six weeks, but came back too soon, which was my fault.
“I ended up tearing it and being out for five months. I set myself back and ended up not being able to recover from it.
“It’s only now that I’m starting to feel a lot better. I had an eye on the League Cup semi-final game and the Inter Milan matches that were coming up because, as a player, you want to be involved on these occasions.
“It’s easy to look back now and say I should have held back. I tried to push on, but ended up doing more damage.
“It was very frustrating. I wanted to contribute to winning the league, the way I had done over the previous three years.”
Speaking in this week’s Celtic View, Mulgrew added: “Being out any time is tough, but it is especially so when there’s a big change at the club.
“The manager, Ronny Deila, was trying to get his ideas across and you want to be out on the training pitch and moving as a squad and group, but it’s just about staying positive.
“It’s difficult at times because you’re watching the team and you can’t help them. However, the players have done great and I’m happy for them.
“I’m not looking back, however. I’m looking forward and trying to be as positive as I can.”
Despite his lack of first team action, Gordon Strachan had no hesitation in pulling the player into his Scotland international squad for the friendly against Qatar at Easter Road on June 5 and the crunch Euro 2016 qualifier against the Republic of Ireland in Dublin eight days later.