Ryan Christie has finally put the horror of his ‘multiple facial fractures’ behind him with his display against Sarajevo on Tuesday night.
At the end of February he suffered a hamstring injury against Motherwell that put him on the sidelines but three games into his comeback his season was finished by a brutal clash with Aberdeen’s Dom Ball in the semi final of the Scottish Cup left his face in pieces.
Initial hopes that he would be back for the final were quickly dismissed as he underwent surgery that resulted in five metal plates being inserted in his face.
It was a month before the bruising settled down but after a couple of pre-season outings in Austria and Switzerland he was back in at the coal face in Bosnia.
Christie never held back from any challenge, playing a key role in Celtic’s recovery with only a goal missing from an energetic 90 minutes.
“It was amazing to get back on the pitch,” he told the Evening Times. “It’s been a long time, even since February it’s been frustrating with injuries. Touch wood that I’m back in for the long run now and can really kick on.
“The manager is brilliant for all the attacking players we’ve got in the squad, especially for me. He wants us to play attacking football. I love playing in that position and he’s big on getting the ball to me, Odsonne and the two wingers. It suits me down to the ground.
“I was itching to get back. Ever since I came back in for pre-season I was desperate to get going again. When I found out I was starting tonight I was absolutely buzzing.
“As a team we’re delighted to get a win but I’m frustrated myself that I couldn’t get a goal. I’ll take the assist off the fringe! I had a few shots but didn’t really catch them. There’s definitely positives to take forward.”