Brendan Rodgers expects Cameron Carter-Vickers to be fit enough to return to the Celtic defence for Saturday’s cinch Premiership match at home to St Johnstone.

The influential centre-back has had an injury-disrupted campaign since undergoing knee surgery at the end of last term and he sat out Sunday’s Scottish Cup quarter-final victory over Livingston as a “precaution” after feeling a “twinge” in his hamstring.

Carter-Vickers has been given the all-clear after a scan, however, and Rodgers is optimistic that the American will be available for the visit of Saints.

“We will have a look at Cam, I think he should be fine,” Rodgers told Celtic TV. “I spoke to Cam at length (on Tuesday), he just feels everything is based from around his knee operation.

“And then also, when you have picked up a few injuries from that, maybe from what is a normal twinge, you get that sensation and think it’s linked to another injury. Thankfully, it doesn’t seem that.

“We’ve had the scan which has come through fine. He’s done some work with the medical team and hopefully he will rejoin the training squad on Thursday and Friday and be available for the weekend.”

Luis Palma and skipper Callum McGregor will remain sidelined by injury until after the international break but Rodgers is hoping his team – who lost their last league game away to Hearts – can get their Premiership title bid back on track when they host Craig Levein’s Saints.

Brendan Rodgers

“Craig’s team will be very hard to beat,” said Rodgers. “They will be diligent. Even though we should have won the game earlier in the season (in August), we drew 0-0, we missed chances and they showed courage to defend the way they did.

“In the game up there (a 3-1 win in December), the first half wasn’t at our level, that tempo of the game.

“But once we injected that tempo and took it out of our comfort zone, we took the game to a really high level and it was difficult for St Johnstone to stay with us.

“That is the key for us, maintaining that consistency and mentality to keep the game up at a high level. When we get to that point and arrive at that moment then we look a very good team.”