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JULLIEN BOOST IN COMEBACK BID

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CROCKED Christopher Jullien is taking his first steps back to what he hopes will be a full-throttle comeback for Celtic.

The 27-year-old French defender injured his left knee when he clattered into a post in the 3-0 win over Dundee United at Parkhead on December 30.

CQN revealed last week that Jullien’s season was over, but it got worse when boss Neil Lennon admitted the towering centre-back could be out “for six to nine months” which would see him miss the opening stages of the 2021/22 campaign, including the Champions League qualifiers.

However, the £7million purchase from Toulouse in the summer of 2019, is battling back during his return to his homeland and posted a video on his Instagram account showing him walking for the first time without crutches during his rehab in a gym.

Jullien was desperate to get back into action before the completion of this ill-fated term, but closer inspection of the injury against the Tannadice outfit wiped out any chance of a quickfire return.

The man who scored the Betfred League Cup winner against Steven Gerrard’s team at Hampden on December 8 2019 has made only 15 appearances this season and was out for a lengthy spell after sustaining a back injury in the 5-0 win over Ross County in early September.

The former Under-21 international, who tested positive for Covid-19 after the Hoops’ disastrous Dubai trip last month, has two years to run on a lucative contract and is aiming to get back to Parkhead as soon as possible to meet fresh challenges.

The Hoops will be seeking reinforcements for the central rearguard role with Republic of Ireland captain Shane Duffy returning to Brighton when his loan period expires in May while there is continued speculation linking Kristoffer Ajer with AC Milan.

Julllien’s team-mates James Forrest and Mikey Johnston are just two others of the faltering champions’ squad who have been cursed by injuries during a campaign that promised so much last summer.

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