There is light at the end of the tunnel now for Nir Bitton but in the dark days of early 2018, it all seemed like it was over for Nir as he was dealt the cruellest of blows.
Footballers get injuries, that comes part and parcel with the game but this was no ordinary situation for Nir. There was no defining moment, no crunching tackle and no apparent clues before the midfielder was given horrible news.
Nir said he tweaked his knee in November 2017, but thought nothing of it. He continued to play, but his knee would swell up after training, and before long he was on medication to deal with the problem.
February 2018, the player speaks about coming on as a substitute against Kilmarnock and feeling great. However, the club still wanted him to see the doctor, and when he flew down to London, Nir did not expect what would come next.
The doctor sat Nir down and told him he had bad news, the player’s heart sank and could not wrap his head around it as he was told he would be out for a year.
Speaking about his injury hell, Nir told how he broke down on the phone to his wife after seeing the doctor.
“It wasn’t a particular tackle in a game or in training. It was after I picked up a little injury back in November 2017 against Ross County away when I landed awkwardly on my knee,” said Bitton in an exclusive interview with the Celtic View.
“I felt something weird at the time, but I keep playing, I kept training, but after a few weeks it became a bigger issue. My knee would swell up after every training session and every game, and I didn’t know what to do. I had a lot of injections, and I was prescribed a lot of tablets.
“In February, I came on as a sub against Kilmarnock and, to be honest, I felt good and didn’t feel any pain, but I had an appointment booked a few days after that match. I went down to London with the team physio, and I wasn’t expecting any bad news – I was expecting an opinion, and to then move on quickly after that.
“I remember, I went into the room and the doctor told me that he had bad news for me. I was a little confused, and asked what he meant. I didn’t expect any bad news whatsoever, and I was told I was required to have surgery, and that I’d be out for nine to 12 months. This was a total shock for me.
“I felt like my career was over, because the way the doctor was talking, I felt like everything was negative. I left the room, I called my wife, and I just started crying. It was a bad time for me, it was really tough for my family, for everyone around me.”
Nir’s current Celtic deal has a year and a half to run and the midfielder has set his sights on winning a new deal as he gets readied for his return to action.
The midfielder could play a part in Celtic’s cup game against Airdrie later this month.