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BRENDAN RODGERS has given Celtic fans a timetable for the return of long term injured midfielder Nir Bitton.

The Israeli has been out for around seven months with a knee injury which seen the player go under the knife earlier this year.

Nir’s last game for Celtic as the frustrating 1-0 defeat to Kilmarnock back in February.

Since his operation, Nir has been on Instagram constantly showing people his rehab and how he has been getting on.

Fans have been wondering for quite a while now when Nir is likely to show up and start pushing for a first team place.

Rodgers answer gives fans a timetable but his comments also suggest he will not be using the midfielder as much in the near future when he does come back into the fold.

“It will probably be after the next international break before he’s back.

“He had a minor setback that puts him back a couple of weeks but he’s working tirelessly to get back.

“He’ll be great for us when he’s back but he’s still a little bit of time away.

“Normally they say that if you’re out for six months it’s a similar period until you are back to where you left off.

Rodgers clearly lowering the expectations that the 26-year-old will make a big impact upon his return.

However, the Celtic manager credits the player with having a great influence in the dressing room whether he’s playing or not.

“It will be nice to get him on the pitch. Whether or not he plays he’s a great influence on the group.

“He’s highly respected and we want him back ASAP.”

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