SOCCEROOS midfielder Tom Rogic has made his long awaited return for Celtic following a 10 week long layoff thanks to a knee injury.
The playmaker started for the Hoops as they drew 0-0 with St Johnstone in the Scottish Premiership.
It was Rogic’s first match since limping out of a Europa League clash with Anderlecht on December 6 – and manager Brendan Rodgers’ decision to throw him into the deep end has split fans.
“Rogic should never have been thrown in like that”, one fan tweeted.
While others were pleased to see the star back out on the park.
“Good to see Rogic getting minutes,” a fan said, while another suggested that he was “unfit and never likely to dominate.”
Football Insider rated the Aussie a 4/10 in the match, stating that he “played like a player who hadn’t played for three months, some nice touches on the ball but generally on the fringes of the game, will take time for him to get back to his best.”
However, as one fan pointed out on Twitter, “He can’t be expected to come back firing on all cylinders right away.”
Rodgers defended his decision to start Rogic, pointing to the match as a great opportunity to hand minutes to players who have found them hard to come by in recent times.
“Tom Rogic played his first game for three months and young Calvin Miller played. I have to take opportunities at some point to play some of these guys, especially with so many injuries,” the manager said.
The Evening Standard reported that “Rogic and his ability to change a game has been missed by Celtic in the time he has spent out of action but inevitably it will take the Australian internationalist a little time to get himself up to match fitness after so long out.”
Rogic will hope to continue his return when Celtic travel to Russia for the second leg of their Europa League clash with Zenit.