Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou has asked for patience as supporters eagerly await the return of defender Christopher Jullien to first-team action.
The French centre-half hasn’t played a competitive fixture since last December after sustaining a serious knee injury which required extensive surgery.
Jullien had been pencilled in to make his comeback after the international break, but Postecoglou confirmed the club’s medical staff are taking a more cautious approach.
The Parkhead boss admits it is unlikely Jullien will travel with the Hoops squad to Germany for Thursday’s Europa League clash with Bayer Leverkusen.
He said: “We still need to do some work with Chris. I know people are anxious but we are not quite there.
“This was sort of seen as a likely return date but we have just got to be careful.
“I want him back but I want him back for good. I don’t want him suffering a setback.”
Postecoglou reached his first final as Celtic boss after overcoming Premier Sports Cup holders St Johnstone 1-0 in the semi-final, courtesy of substitute James Forrest’s late goal.
Prior to kick-off and in the 67th minute, Hoops fans paid two fitting tributes to Lisbon Lion great Bertie Auld, who passed away at the age of 83 last weekend.
An emotional Postecoglou dedicated the victory to Auld’s grieving family.
He stated: “The tribute to Bertie is an important part of what this club is about.
“The players wore the 10 on their shorts and I said to them after the game, we’re celebrating an immortal of this football club and the Scottish game.
“But we also have to understand there’s some sadness there for the people who are closest to him and his family.
“I’m hoping after those 90 minutes maybe they had a bit of a smile on their face and felt better for a moment.
“We thought about the great man and hopefully he was looking on from above. These things are important.
“We’re putting on a shirt that represents something, not just the football club, but the people who helped build Celtic - and Bertie was certainly one of them.”