Nir Bitton has revealed that he spent time in a wheelchair between being injured in Sarajevo and playing for Israel against Scotland on Thursday night.
The 28-year-old has provided Neil Lennon with a fresh defensive option this season with his performance in the 3-0 win over Hibs drawing praise from all side.
Building on that came to a halt 10 minutes into the Europa League Play Off against Sarajevo with initial concerns that his ankle injury would lead to a long term lay off.
Forty-eight hours after that match he had moved from crutches to a wheelchair but by Thursday night at Hampden he was taming Lyndon Dykes and Ollie McBurnie before suffering the cruelty of losing out on penalties.
Bitton’s reaction to 120 minutes will be assessed by the Celtic medical team with the player detailing an incredible week and rehab to The Sun:
Celtic is the club who pay my salary but as a person, as a professional athlete, I couldn’t give up on this game. These are the games you dream of playing when you are six years old.
Even the day after the injury I told the medical staff at Celtic that I wanted to give myself a chance. I twisted my ankle very badly away in Bosnia and I didn’t believe I could make it.
On the way back home on Friday I was on crutches, I was in a wheelchair and I couldn’t even walk on the foot but I wasn’t going to rule myself out of the game until I knew that I couldn’t play.
I never give up, I always try to push myself to the limit but to be honest the medical staff here did an unbelievable job, they treated me like their child with treatment three times a day.
I played this game only because of them and I understand the frustration of Celtic. I was glad I made it but it is a bit frustrating now
Bitton has been withdrawn from the Israel squad to face the Czech Republic and Slovakia in the Nations League.