Rogic out of Celtic’s Europa League tie with Zenit
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Celtic’s Europa League meeting with Zenit St Petersburg on Thursday will come too soon for midfielder Tom Rogic.
The Australian, who has been missing for two months with a knee problem, was an unused substitute for Saturday’s Scottish Cup win over Partick Thistle.
Monday’s development game at Cappielow was then called off due to the wintry weather, denying Rogic game time.
“He’s going to be hopefully available in a week or so,” said assistant manager Chris Davies.
“He’s had some good training and he’s on his way back from being out for a while.”
Fellow midfielders Patrick Roberts, Stuart Armstrong and Jonny Hayes are also sidelined, as is goalkeeper Craig Gordon and former RB Leipzig defender Marvin Compper, who is both injured and ineligible for European competition.
Striker Leigh Griffiths has not featured since the recurrence of a calf problem against former team Hibernian on 27 January, with a four-week recovery forecast.
Central defender Dedryck Boyata was forced off with a groin injury against Kilmarnock at the start of this month, with manager Brendan Rodgers saying a return for the second leg in Russia was more likely for the Belgian.
That could mean a debut in European competition for Jack Hendry, the 22-year-old January signed from Dundee.
Fellow new arrival Charly Musonda is also vying for a start, but the on-loan Chelsea midfielder is unlikely to face former Stamford Bridge team-mate Branislav Ivanovic.
The central defender is struggling to recover from an eye injury, the 33-year-old Serbia captain being Zenit head coach Roberto Mancini’s only fitness concern.
With the Russian Premier League on its winter break since December, Zenit have warmed up with training camps in Dubai and Turkey, completing their preparations with a 3-1 win over Maribor in a friendly in Antayla.
Anton Zabolotny, a 26-year-old striker who has scored four goals in 19 games this season for Russian Premier League newcomers Tonso, is Zenit’s only addition during the January transfer window.
Russian media speculation has centred on whether former Italy and Manchester City boss Mancini, who took charge in June, will choose between summer signings Matias Kranevitter, formerly of Atletico Madrid, and Leandro Paredes, previously of Roma, or play the Argentines as duel defensive midfielders in Glasgow.
Daler Kuzyaev, their summer acquisition from Akhmat Grozny, is another vying for that role but has also been used in the right side of defence.
Mancini not only steered his side to the last 32 after finishing top – and unbeaten – in a Europa League qualifying group containing Real Sociedad, Rosenborg and Vardar of Macedonia.
His side also lie second, eight points behind Lokomotiv Moscow and ahead of defending champions Spartak Moscow on goal difference, in their domestic league.
Scottish champions Celtic, who lead the Premiership by eight points, dropped into the Europa League after finishing third in their Champions League group behind Paris St-Germain and Bayern Munich but ahead of Anderlecht.