By James Black
Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers has confirmed Kieran Tierney was only being rested after missing the 4-0 win over Ross County.
Fans were surprised when Tierney’s name was missing from the teamsheet and there was a concern the left-back had picked up an injury.
Celtic played Paris Saint-Germain in midweek and face trips to Dundee and then Belgium to play Anderlecht in successive midweeks as the Hoops’ gruelling schedule takes hold.
Tierney is a mainstay in the first-team for both the Bhoys and Scotland and Rodgers has now made it clear that he was just protecting his player to avoid burn-out.
“He was absolutely fine after the game midweek,” he said at his post-match media conference, as quoted by STV.
“He’s marching up and down that line for us and for Scotland but I’ve got to make sure he doesn’t break.
“I need to nurture my players through and the last thing I need from him is sheer exhaustion. He puts so much into the games.
“I felt looking at the programme this was a game he could recover, I could give him a total rest and re-energise him.
“Then he comes back in and he’s raring to go for our next games and then the international games which are important.
“Of course I’d love him to play every game but I also have to manage what is a long season for all the players.”
Brendan Rodgers’ side eased past Ross County without Tierney through goals from Tom Rogic, the returning Moussa Dembele and a second-half James Forrest double.
The win extended the Glasgow giants’ unbeaten run in domestic games to 55 and gave them a two-point lead at the top of the Scottish Premiership.
Celtic also face a trip to Ibrox next weekend to take on Rangers for the first time this season and the former Celtic boss will ensure he keeps his players fit ahead of the chance to go five points clear of Pedro Caixinha’s side.
In other Celtic news, this 25-year-old has revealed he has held crunch talks with the club about his future.