MARATHON Man Callum McGregor hit the ground running at Lennoxtown when Celtic returned to training on Thursday.
The Scotland international was the last player to score for the champions during his 30th successive Premiership outing when he swept in a late penalty-kick in the 5-0 win over St Mirren at Parkhead on March 7.
McGregor, who played 50 games overall during the interrupted campaign, was forced into cold storage along with the rest of football in mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The cultured anchorman stepped back onto the training pitch for the first time in three months and was delighted to return to normal surroundings.
McGregor, speaking to Celtic TV, said: “It’s good to get back on the grass. It just seems to lift your mood straight away when you’re getting up to go to training. So, it’s definitely been well-received.
“You’re just so used to being in that routine where you’ve got games every three or four days for a large period of the season and then when you get to April to the end of May, it goes to one game a week and you feel at that point that you’re getting a rest.
“But to have 10 or 11 weeks off, it’s not been great. It’s nice to have the downtime, but, ultimately, you want to be on the pitch playing football and doing what you love.
“Everyone’s delighted to be back in. It’s small steps at the minute, but it’s just good to be back on the grass. It’s going to be an extended pre-season, so you’ve got even more time to plan and get your body right. Then when the games come around, we’ll have had a good 10 or 11 weeks pre-season under our belts.
“Everyone will be in good condition and desperate for the games to start. We want to continue the hunger and the more that you win, it just fuels you for more success and you want to keep delivering trophies.”
McGregor’s subtle promptings from the middle of the park were also supplemented by 13 goals and one of the strikes – a half-volley in the 4-0 win over Motherwell at Fir Park in February – earned the accolade as the best of the bunch in the term by Neil lennon.
The consistent campaigner added: “It’s another big season for the club. The next game is the most important, the next training day is an opportunity to get better and improve as a player and as a squad together.
“So, that message will stay very much the same.”