By support

18th Feb, 2017 | 2:22pm

Celtic 26-year-old not risked against Motherwell

By Matt Farr

Leigh Griffiths has not been risked for Celtic against Motherwell on Saturday.

The 26-year-old striker has not played for Celtic since his late cameo appearance against St. Johnstone on January 25, and has been recovering from a calf injury.

However, Rodgers has resisted the urge to recall him to the first-team setup to face Motherwell in the Scottish Premiership, despite the opportunity for him to regain his match fitness.

He told the Express: “Leigh is still at that conditioning phase as he comes back.

“He has been brilliant in his approach to it. The attitude, everything has been first-class. We just want to make sure he doesn’t break down again. We are trying to break this cycle of playing a few games, getting injured and being out for a bit.

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“He’s a great player for us. We’re trying to make sure we give him a period of getting really fit so he comes back, stays fit and really contributes.”

The Scotland international striker is back in training at Parkhead, but is yet to reach the levels of fitness Rodgers has demanded of him, in a public statement.

Rodgers criticised Griffiths work ethic and fitness, demanding significant improvement if he was to be considered part of his first-team plans.

Despite a series of injury setbacks, Griffiths has been a useful figure within the first-team at Celtic this season, contributing 13 goals and eight assists from 26 appearances in all competitions.

Ahead of his latest injury, Griffiths had been used as a rotation option within Rodgers’ side, but given the recent form of star goalscorer Moussa Dembele – who has netted back-to-back hat-tricks – he might find himself playing more of a backup role in the coming weeks.

Celtic can go 27 points clear of Aberdeen at the top of the Scottish Premiership with a win against Motherwell.

In other Celtic news, this is how Celtic are expected to line-up on Saturday.

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