CHRISTOPHER JULLIEN has made a hush-hush comeback to action after almost 13 months out through injury.
The towering French central defender has not featured since a sickening collision with a post during Celtic’s 3-0 Premiership win over Dundee United at Parkhead on December 30 2020.
Jullien, 28, cost £7million from French outfit Toulouse in the summer of 2019 and scored the winning goal in the 2019 Betfred League Cup Final triumph over Steven Gerrard’s Ibrox side.
After winning a Premiership medal, he featured in the dramatic 3-3 draw in the delayed 2020 Scottish Cup Final against Hearts which saw the Hoops seal the phenomenal quadruple treble 4-3 on penalty-kicks.
DOWN AND OUT…Christopher Jullien is disconsolate as he receives treatment following his injury against Dundee United.
Ten days later against the Tannadice side, Jullien had to be helped off with a knee injury after clattering against an upright following a clearance off the line.
However, he edged closer to competitive action after turning out in a Hoops side that beat St Mirren 1-0 with an Owen Moffat strike in a closed door game at Lennoxtown yesterday, according to a report in the Scottish Sun.
The centre-back, who returned to training a couple of months ago following painstaking rehab, came through unscathed under the watchful eye of Ange Postecoglou.
The Celtic gaffer also had a close-up look at his triple J-League signings, Daizen Maeda, signings Reo Hatate and Yosuke Ideguchi against the Paisley men.
Among those also appearing were Joe Hart, Josip Juranovic, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Carl Starfelt, Callum McGregor and James Forrest.
CUP WINNER…Christopher Jullien celebrates the only goal of the 2019 League Cup Final at Hampden in December 2019.
V FOR VICTORY…Christopher Jullien prepares for training at Lennoxtown this week.
The visit of Hibs to Parkhead on Monday evening when the Premiership restarts will be too soon for Jullien and suggestions he is more likely to return in the Scottish Cup encounter against Alloa a week on Saturday appear to be wide of the mark, too.
It is an artificial playing surface at the Indodrill Stadium, the League One club’s ground, and there appears little chance Postecoglou would risk a setback for his player.
It was a similar situation with Jozo Simunovic in his latter days at the club when he was rarely selected to play against Kilmarnock at Rugby Park on their dreaded plastic pitch.
Even a fully-fit Jullien has never looked comfortable on the synthetic surface of Livingston’s pitch in West Lothian.
Celtic’s next home game is scheduled to be against Dundee United a fortnight on Saturday and, ironically, the defender could make a return against the Tannadice side – 12 months and 30 days since he played against them in his last appearance.