CHRISTOPHER JULLIEN is aiming to make a Celtic comeback before Christmas.
The towering defender, who was bought by ex-boss Neil Lennon from Toulouse for £7million in June 2019, hasn’t kicked a ball in the first team this year.
Jullien collided with a post after making a goal-line clearance in the 3-0 Premiership win over Dundee United at Parkhead on Dcember 30.
The 28-year-old Frenchman suffered a knee injury and has been sidelined ever since during his rehabilitation following delicate surgery.
DOWN AND OUT…Christopher Jullien receives treatment after his sickening collision with a post on December 30 last year.
However, the centre-back has been training with the full squad in recent weeks and Ange Postecoglou has admitted he is looking to arrange bounce games for the player to ease his way back into contentions, as CQN reported last month.
If everything goes according to plan, there is a chance the popular back-four operator, the Hoops’ Betfred League Cup matchwinner against Steven Gerrard’s Ibrox outfit almost two years ago, could be back in action before the turn of the year.
Last season was a virtual write-off for Jullien who suffered a back injury in Shane Duffy’s debut in the 5-0 win over Ross County in Dingwall at the start of September last year.
The unfortunate stopper hadn’t long returned to the side when he clashed with an upright as he protected Vasilis Barkas’ goal against the Tannadice side.
HAMPDEN HERO…Christopher Jullien sidefoots the Betfred League Cup winner against the Ibrox side in 2019.
ITALIAN JOB…Christopher Jullien heads in the clincher in the 2-1 win over Lazio in Glasgow.
Jullien returned to France for the initial part of recovery work and is now eager to fight his way into Postecoglou’s squad, according to a report in the Scottish Sun.
During his enforced absence in the previous campaign, Lennon utilised Nir Bitton, Hatem Abd Elhamed, Stephen Welsh, Kristoffer Ajer and on-loan Brighton Republic of Ireland international Duffy in a variety of combinations in the middle of the rearguard.
Postecoglou identified the area as a problem spot for the team and one of his first buys in the summer was Swedish centre-half Carl Starfelt from Russian cracks Rubin Kazan in a £4.2million switch.
Cameron Carter-Vickers also arrived on deadline day on a season-long temporary transfer from Spurs.
UP AND AT ‘EM…Christopher Jullien demonstrates his power in the air as he clears from St Johnstone striker Stevie May.
Jullien, who is out of contract in June 2023, will be working with the staff at Lennoxtown during the international break with Celtic’s next game due for Hampden a week on Saturday in the Premier Sports League Cup semi-final against trophy holders St Johnstone.
Five days later, the Hoops take on Bundesliga giants Bayer Leverkusen in Germany in a crucial Europa League Group G encounter and then it’s back to Premiership business against Aberdeen in Glasgow the following Sunday.
Jullieb has no chance of playing in that trio of fixtures, but his best bet will be an outing next month with Postecoglou’s men kicking off December with a home league match against Hearts on Thursday the second of the month.