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Celtic in line for injury boost as Christopher Jullien working toward early return
Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Celtic in line for injury boost as Christopher Jullien working toward early return

Celtic could be set for an unexpected injury boost with The Sun reporting that Christopher Jullien is working on returning to action earlier than planned after his knee surgery.

The Hoops defender faced the prospect of almost a year on the sidelines after being pencilled in for a September comeback, but is now hopeful of stepping back onto the pitch this August.

Julien has ramped up his rehabilitation of late with a string of intensive sessions at the French Federation’s Clairefontaine base, which have seen the centre-half begin running on the training pitches for the first time since his operation in January.

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Julien has been out of action since sustaining his injury after colliding with a post against Dundee United in December, just a month after returning to selection following a back injury that had kept the 28-year-old in the treatment room for six Premiership matches.

Celtic sorely missed the former France U20 international’s imposing presence at Parkhead as their title defence fell apart, with Julien only available for nine league fixtures in which the Hoops went unbeaten with seven wins and two draws.

The Hoops have since taken all three points in seven of the 15 top-flight games that Julien has sat out, plus one in three during the Championship Group stage, while bowing out of the Scottish Cup to Rangers.

TBR’s view:

Potentially having Julien back to full fitness in time for the new season will come as a big boost to Celtic as they prepare to bounce back from a disastrous Premiership campaign, with whoever replaces Neil Lennon likely to be keen on unleashing the defender swiftly.

Lennon was full of support for Julien while he had the centre-half at his disposal, having lauded him for delivering “excellent” performances and appearing much more in tune to his imposing best before injuries began to derail his term.

“I thought he was excellent, you saw what he was good at tonight,” Lennon said, via quotes by FourFourTwo, last August. “I thought, defensively, he looked more like himself, which I thought he would do. The more he plays, the better he gets.”

There are no guarantees that Julien will be able to pick up where he left off, but returning to action in time for the start of the season will at least see that he is not playing catch-up as others begin to build form and cement their places in the Hoop’s line-up.

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