CELTIC fans have expressed their soliditary with striker Leigh Griffiths after he took a break from football in a special tribute before the club's crunch Europa League tie against RB Salzburg.

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers said that the Scotland international was taking a break for "a number of months" due to "a number of issues outside the football environment" including some relating to his mental health.

Fans chanted his name and the Green Brigade raised a banner saying: "It's ok not to be ok. You'll never walk alone, Leigh."

It emerged that he was reported missing by concerned friends on Monday after he went missing for a period of a few hours. The police were alerted that Griffiths was missing on Monday, tracing the Celtic striker in Edinburgh City Centre.

The Scotland forward, 28, has made 22 appearances in a stop-start season that has been disrupted by injuries.

He withdrew from the Scotland squad to face Israel and Portugal in October to focus on his fitness.

"Leigh has had issues for a number of months," Celtic manager Rodgers said on Wednesday.

"He's reached a point where it's a struggle for him. We are going to give him all the professional help he needs to get him back in a good place again.

"He's a great guy but football and life is tough for him right now," Rodgers added. "We want to help him with that and we'll let you know when he's back."

"Thankfully for him, for the issues that young players and young people in general can come across, there is great support out there.

"It's no longer a weakness to talk now. Forget football, think of the guy as a human being and take it from there.

"The most important thing for managers and coaches is the welfare of players. He has all of our support - the team, the staff and the supporters."

Support has come in for Griffiths from across football, including some of his former clubs.

Livingston told him to "take the time you need to get back to a happier place - there's always a seat with your name on it here", while Hibernian stated: "We're all with you, Leigh."

Griffiths released a statement on Thursday, in which he expressed his gratitude for the response the announcement has prompted He said: "I just wanted to thank everyone at the club, and so many Celtic fans and other people, who have sent me such kind and powerful messages of support.

"I thank you all sincerely and want to let you know I'm doing all I can to come back as soon as possible, a better and stronger person."