BRENDAN RODGERS has received a welcome double boost as he prepares for the new season.
CAMERON CARTER-VICKERS, who missed the final six games of the previous campaign after undergoing knee surgery, is poised to resume full training.
MAIK NAWROCKI, the towering Polish centre-back targeted by the returning boss, is on the brink of finalising his switch from Legia Warsaw.
Ange Postecoglou struggled to replace Carter-Vickers in the middle of the Hoops rearguard when his £6million purchase from Spurs in the summer was forced to go under the knife to rectify his problem.
The American World Cup star’s last appearance was a heroic display in the 1-0 Scottish Cup semi-final win over Michael Beale’s Ibrox side on April 30.
THE LAST HURRAH…Cameron Carter-Vickers heads clear from Fashion Sakala in Celtic’s 1-0 Scottish Cup semi-final win over the Ibrox side as the centre-back prepares to go under the knife.
He was on crutches at Hampden to watch his team-mates seal a world record eighth domestic treble when they overcame gallant Inverness Caley Thistle 3-1 in the soccer showpiece on June 3.
Progress has been steady for the 25-year-old pivot who remained at Lennoxtown while his colleagues travelled to Japan for their two-game tour last week.
Instead, Carter-Vickers was put through a solid week of training with the Hoops B squad and is now prepared rejoin his team-mates as they get ready for the Premiership kick-off against Ross County on Flag Day in the east end of Glasgow a week on Saturday.
He may not figure in the opener and Rodgers will not take any risks with the Southend-born ace as he continues his comeback.
However, the signs are positive that the inspirational back-four performer is nearing a first-team return which is excellent news for the Parkhead club, especially with consistent Canadian international right-back Alistair Johnston ruled out for the first few weeks of the new campaign with an ankle injury, as CQN reported earlier this month.
IN WITH A SHOUT…Celtic target Maik Nawrocki.
Continuing the feelgood factor, 22-year-old German-born former Poland Under-21 centre-back Nawrocki is on the brink of signing a five-year deal with the champions, according to The Scottish Sun.
The Hoops hierarchy have thrashed out a deal with Legia which could rise to £5.2million with add-ons and the move is likely to be confirmed within the next 24 hours.
Personal terms have also been agreed and Nawrocki could figure at some stage in the friendly against Wolves at the Avivia Stadium in Dublin on Saturday.
He was caught on camera at Lennoxtown on Monday alongside the club’s South Korean duo Yang Hyun-jun and Kwon Hyeok-kyu who also sealed their five-year contracts.
Postecoglou was forced to play versatile midfielder Tomoki Iwata alongside Carl Starfelt in the run-in to the season after Yuki Kobayashi, who only arrived from the J-League in January, struggled to settle in.
Rodgers has also added Norwegian midfielder Odin Thiago Holm and Australian international winger Marco Tilio in recent weeks and Nawrocki will be his fifth signing of the pre-season.
Others will follow before the window closes at midnight of August 31.