Celtic have been handed an injury boost ahead of this weekend's League Cup clash against Kilmarnock.

Brendan Rodgers' side will be boosted by the return of defender Alistair Johnston after the Canadian returned to training this week.

The full-back has been missing for Celtic for the start of the season after picking up an ankle knock while on international duty.

Speaking during pre-season, Rodgers explained: "Alistair had an issue when he came back from international duty.

"He had a slight problem with his ankle.

"He’s had an operation, he’s had a couple of little bits removed from there successfully.

"He’s out here with us. It’s probably a six to eight week injury.

"But hopefully it will be a bit sooner than that.

"It’s better to have it done at this stage of the season than sometime in the season."

Johnston could now return to action this weekend as Celtic meet Kilmarnock in the Viaplay Cup round of 16, although it is unlikely that he will risked on the artificial Rugby Park surface. 

Rodgers' side head to Ayrshire on Sunday with a place in the quarter-finals of the tournament on the line.

Meanwhile, Stephen Welsh is looking forward to “kicking on” under Rodgers after coming in from the cold under the new manager to sign a four-year deal with Celtic.

The 23-year-old defender’s previous contract was due to expire at the end of this season and it looked like his time with his boyhood club might be nearing an end when he fell out of favour under previous boss Ange Postecoglou.

However, academy graduate Welsh, who has been linked with moves away from Parkhead in recent transfer windows, made his first appearance in 10 months when he came on as a substitute for the injured Cameron Carter-Vickers in Sunday’s 3-1 cinch Premiership win over Aberdeen.

And, having impressed Rodgers since he returned to Celtic as manager earlier this summer, the homegrown centre-back has earned a long-term extension until 2027.

“Signing a new contract for the club that I’ve been brought up on and have supported my whole life was, for me, an easy decision,” Welsh told Celtic TV after the deal was announced on Friday.

“It’s time for me to kick on now and hopefully I can have a few good seasons. I want to keep improving and continue to play as many games as I can, especially with the manager in now. He’s been massive for me since he’s come in.

“He’s one of the main reasons that I want to be at the club and I’m just looking forward to starting the season properly and going for it.”