Stephen Welsh has been back on the training field at Lennoxtown for the first time after sustaining a serious ankle injury earlier in the season. The player had no sooner than signed a contract extension with his boyhood club before he was struck down with an ankle problem.
The defender was seen in a moon boot at the time up at Celtic’s headquarters in the Campsies with many fearing the worst.
The Scottish defender’s troubles added to a growing headache at the time, as Brendan Rodgers was saddled with an injury crisis on his return to the Parkhead club in the summer. With Cameron Carter-Vickers and Maik Nawrocki also sustaining heavy injuries, the boss was left scrambling to get an experienced central defender before the closing of the transfer window.
He eventually got his hands on Liverpool’s Nat Phillips, who has barely played due to an upturn in the performance levels of Liam Scales, who has been the biggest surprise of the campaign to date. The Irishman has stepped up in dramatic fashion to help steady the ship and keep things moving along nicely in the absence of Cameron Carter-Vickers.
His commitment and calmness on the ball have been invaluable since he became a mainstay in the team and is growing in confidence and popularity with each passing week.
With Cameron Carter-Vickers’ return to action earlier than anticipated, we have been fortunate enough that we haven’t had to endure life without our star defender for longer.
Scales looks to be forging a very good understanding alongside his American teammate and he will take some displacing from the starting line-up, should anybody fancy their chances. With Kobayashi, Phillips, Nawrocki and Welsh all waiting in the wings, central defence has never been hotter for places.
Celtic released their usual footage from Lennoxtown and it looks as if Welsh has now been out on the training pitch and will look to step up his recovery in the days and weeks ahead.
This will give Rodgers more options yet again in defence and may allow him to rotate his squad some more as we really get into the nitty gritty of this year’s campaign. Welsh will he hoping he can participate along the way and everything with his comeback goes to plan.
Matt Corr’s new book Majic, Stan and the King of Japan is out now and Neil Lennon, the Celtic captain that season, has written the foreword for us.
You can get a signed copy of the hardback version direct from Celtic Star Books by clicking on the image below. It’s also available an an e-book via Amazon Kindle and please note that all colour photographs that appear in the beautifully presented printed hardback book are also available in the Kindle version of Majic, Stan and the King of Japan…