Neil Lennon urges Leigh Griffiths to repay Celtic’s patience

Neil Lennon has told Leigh Griffiths it is payback time after confirming the striker has now completed his return to first-team duties.

The 28-year-old has not featured since December due to a combination of injury and personal issues.

But having taken time away from the club to deal with his off-field problems, he is now back among Lennon’s squad preparing for the new season.

And Hoops boss Lennon is delighted with what he has seen so far this week at their Lennoxtown base.

However, the Northern Irishman has told the Scotland hitman it is now time he repaid the club for the backing he has been given over the last few months.

Lennon said: “He’s doing very, very well. He’s worked very hard and has had a good week. He’s done all the training, double sessions, so we’re very pleased.

“He’s been training constantly for the last two or three months working on his conditioning, so we’ve got no problem putting him in (to the team).

“It’s great for us. We’ve got a proven goalscorer at club and international level that we’ve missed for a significant period of time.

“He’s missed it as well and he is in a good place at the minute.

“It’s a credit to him that he’s worked really hard away from the limelight and knuckled down.

“It’s payback time for him because the club has been very good for him. He knows that and he knows what he’s got with me.

“Should we consider him now to have fully rejoined the first-team? Yes. He’s still got a bit to do in terms of his conditioning, as they all do, but really pleased with what I’m seeing so far.”