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Rodgers gives imminent timeline for two vital returns

Brendan Rodgers had good news to deliver on the injury front after Celtic’s 2-0 win over St Mirren in the Scottish Cup.

Yesterday’s back four of Tony Ralston, Stephen Welsh, Liam Scales and Alexandro Bernabei contained only one first pick but none the less were able to return a clean sheet.

With 13 SPFL matches left to play and possibly three Scottish Cup ties there is a real focus to the season, one that requires as many options as possible to keep the club on course to retain two of the three trophies lifted last season.

The influence of Cameron Carter-Vickers can’t be under-estimated, when fully fit. This time last year he was playing through the pain barrier, putting off knee surgery while the SPFL Premiership was still to be won, as soon as a place in the Scottish Cup Final against Inverness Caley Thistle he underwent surgery.

Last season Greg Taylor had Alexandro Bernabei as his understudy, the Argentinian started nine SPFL matches which gave the former Killie man some breathing space as he delivered the performances.

Both have been missed but speaking to Viaplay Sports yesterday Rodgers had very definite timelines for their return with both players already involved in training.

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Greg Taylor has been a big miss for us. Someone like Greg it’s only when he’s out of the team that you you see what he brings.

His brightness, his cleverness, his technique his physicality in terms of his running and into the right areas. He’s back training, and he’ll be available for next weekend.

Carter-Vickers won’t be too long. Again, he’s out on the pitch but it’s been a challenging year for him.

He’s had the operation and you know it’s like, from that there, he’s had rumblings there and he’s maybe even taken this whole year to to get over that and then have a good preseason but he’s back on the pitch and hopefully in the next few weeks he’ll be okay.

The squad has two clear weeks of training to prepare for matches against Kilmarnock and Motherwell, time to integrate Adam Idah and Nicolas Kuhn into the squad and build up fitness and understanding among the squad.

Getting back to delivering clean sheets on a regular basis coupled with Idah and Kyogo Furuhashi forming a strike partnership could give the team a purpose and shape that hasn’t been evident over the last few months despite delivering eight wins and a draw from the last nine matches.

So far this season Rodgers hasn’t been able to select from a full squad with that situation unlikely to alter anytime soon.

As well as injuries to Carter-Vickers and Taylor Rodgers is also without Alistair Johnston and Reo Hatate due to injury while the Liel Abada dilemma is unlikely to be resolved before the end of this season.

CLICK HERE for Rodgers reacts to critics.

CLICK HERE for Celtic player stats for this season.

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