TOM ROGIC is poised for a dramatic comeback after two months on the sidelines with a knee injury.
Celtic’s Australian international midfielder is likely to get some much-needed minutes on the pitch in the Development League clash with Motherwell at Cappielow ahead of Thursday’s Europa League last-32 tie against Zenit St Petersburg.
Rogic was on the substitutes’ bench for the weekend 3-2 Scottish Cup win over Partick Thistle, but didn’t figure.
Brendan Rodgers said: “Tom looks great in training and it’s just getting him some game time
“He’ll get some minutes with the Under-23 squad because he’s been out for about 10 weeks now.
“Tom’s been working very hard, but, of course, we want to get him game-time and that will give him confidence to play.
“I had to apologise to him. At 3-1, we should have been comfortable well before that, but when the late goal goes in, it changes your thought process, so unfortunately for him, he’s had to have to wait.”
The more defensively-minded Eboue Kouassi got the nod when he replaced hat-trick hero James Forrest near the end.
Stuart Armstrong and Paddy Roberts are also fighting to be ready for Zenit, while Mikael Lustig should be okay after suffering a knee knock against the Jags.
Rodgers added: “We will clearly need to play better than we did against Partick, but, hopefully, the occasion brings that performance up.
“We have a lot of players missing with injuries, but it’s two really exciting games for us and the first leg here on Thursday should be a fantastic game. We’ll get ready for that over the next few days and look forward to it.
“This was the aim right from the start of this season, the next step for this group
“We’ve qualified for this phase and now we want to maximise where we can go in this competition
“We recognise there are some crack teams in there that are probably disappointed that they are not competing at the latter end of the Champions League, but the experience will be great and we’ll see what we can do over the two legs.”