Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers has been boosted ahead of the coming season with the news that Jonny Hayes will begin playing again earlier than was assumed, according to a report.
The attacker has been on the treatment table for six-month nursing a broken leg, but he has recuperated better than was originally expected and he could even be available for the Bhoys’ Champions League qualifiers next month.
Hayes transferred to Celtic from Aberdeen for a fee believed to be around £1 million last summer, however, he fell short of expectation due to his injury. Prior to the issue, he played 11 games for the Glasgow giants scoring just one goal.
He arrived from the Dons with a big reputation and with his injury plague well behind him, the Republic of Ireland international will be keen to move on and prove just how good he is to the Celtic Park faithful.
The attacker is well experienced in Europe due to his time at Aberdeen when he played for the club in the Europa League, and while the Champions League is a grade higher than that, he will know roughly what to expect in the early qualifying rounds.
His return will be vital for Rodgers. The former Liverpool boss has seen Patrick Roberts return to his parent club Manchester City and his next plan, Charly Musonda, has already left to return to Chelsea after not getting the game time that he would have wished for.
If Hayes can be around for Celtic when they begin pre-season it would be a real bonus for their manager. He has signed Lewis Morgan who can challenge the Irishman for a role in the side, but if the Bhoys are to go far in the Champions League qualifying, then competition for places in the team will be vital.