By Alex Taylor

Celtic stars Stefan Johansen and Nir Bitton have returned to training after missing the Hoops’ match against Lincoln Red Imps in the Champions League, according to reports.

The Daily Record claims that the duo have returned to training, as they look to step up their fitness over the coming weeks and get match-fit as soon as possible..

The pair, who were ruled out through injury, resumed work with the Bhoys on Thursday as Celtic prepare for the next qualifying stage of the Champions League in Kazakhstan.

Brendan Rodgers will be hoping the duo are fully fit for the encounter against Astana on 27 July but are unlikely to play a part in Saturday’s friendly against Leicester City.

Rodgers joined the Glasgow giants this summer and endured a humiliating first-leg encounter with Red Imps, losing 1-0. The Bhoys got through the first round of qualifying though, running out 3-1 winners on aggregate.

The former Liverpool boss arrived at Celtic having spent several months out of work after being sacked by the Reds last October, and is aiming to take the Glasgow giants back to the Champions League proper for the first time in two years.

Celtic have only signed Moussa Dembele in the current transfer window and will welcome Rangers back to the top tier of Scottish football for the first time in four years.

In other Celtic news, Brendan Rodgers has revealed he is confident that the Hoops can secure a new centre-back within the next 24 hours in a bid to beat a Uefa deadline.