Celtic winger Mikey Johnston hasn’t had the best of times when it comes to injury issues over the past 18 months or so.
Despite making appearances here and there, the young academy graduate has had consent niggling injury issues, which have led to him spending a considerable amount of time on the treatment table.
This has frustrated certain sections of the Celtic support – seeing a talented young winger picking up slight injuries. But if it was frustrating, fans, you can only begin to imagine how much it would have been frustrating Johnston missing out on action.
However, in the last few games, the 22-year old has started to pick up his recovery, coming off the bench to play the final half an hour in Saturday’s 2-0 victory over St Johnstone.
As quoted by Sun Sport, slowly but surely, the winger is gaining belief back as he looks to make his way into Ange Postecoglou’s starting 11, and he thanks new Sports Scientist Anton McElhone for his part to play in his recent recovery.
He said: “It was a very low time for me.
“Obviously, a lot of people don’t know what goes on in the background. They’ll think I’m lazy and not a professional. But I try to do everything to try and get myself right to play for the club.
“Thankfully, it’s starting to pay off now and hopefully, people will see that. Obviously, being a Celtic fan, if supporters don’t like you, then it can get to you a bit.
“But, it doesn’t matter too much because the manager’s the one who picks the team, and I’m back from injury, and he’s putting me on.
“I’m feeling good. The new sports scientist has come in and helped me a lot.
“I’ve needed a bit more time to get myself back up to speed and also to make sure I don’t pick up any more injuries.
“It’s been good, and I’ve been working hard. The international week kind of came at a good time for me. I was able to get a lot of good fitness work in.
“I was able to put in some strength work that I wouldn’t necessarily just get from training. I have had to try and live a bit like a monk recently, so I’m not getting any muscle injuries.
“A player like me is going to be a bit more susceptible to those kind of injuries because I’m a bit quicker. But, he’s helped me a lot.
“It can be difficult due to the amount of spells I’ve had out. Mentally it can take a toll. But I’ve come back, and I’ve got confidence from senior players like Joe Hart.
“They’ve helped me a lot. I have come back from long spells, and I have still been doing alright. I’m starting to get a bit more belief in myself again.”
It has been encouraging to see Johnston looking sharp off the bench over the past few weeks.
Hopefully, with the help of Ange and his new backroom additions, we can see him put those injury issues behind him and have a consistent run as part of his first-team squad.