KIERAN Tierney might not have played an awful lot of football in the past three months due to a problematic pelvic injury, but the Celtic left back has certainly continued to make the headlines and be the talk of cyberspace in that time.

He has, according to some of the more lurid reports and colourful social media rumours, fallen out with Scotland manager Alex McLeish and turned his back on his country, been all set to undergo the same hip operation that Andy Murray is hoping will save his tennis career and told Brendan Rodgers where to go after his manager had suddenly joined Leicester City.

The speculation that swirls around Tierney, even when he is out of action, is part and parcel of being such a prominent player for such a big club as well as for his country and hasn’t troubled him in the slightest.

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“I find it funny,” he said after taking part in his first training session here yesterday. “My mates always send me rumours and stuff that’s flying around about myself. I don’t know where some of it comes from. You just take everything with a pinch of salt. You just need to get on with your work and stay quiet."

The 21-year-old was, though, quite happy to put the record straight on some of the more outrageous gossip about him in his first interview with the media since making his comeback last month.

Yet, the fact he has travelled nearly 3,000 miles to play for Scotland against Kazakhstan in their opening Euro 2020 qualifier on an artificial pitch in the Astana Arena tomorrow spoke volumes about how committed he is to the national team how much he respects the manager.

It had been suggested there were issues when he, along with several others, withdrew from the squad before the penultimate Nations League match against Albania in Shkoder back in November.

“I pulled out the day before the game not seven days before,” said Tierney. “So if anybody said that they’re just completely wrong to be honest with you. I would have been there if I could have been. I hate being injured for club or country. It’s not a nice feeling and no footballer wants it.”

The fact the defender subsequently spent over two months out proved he wasn’t fully fit. It hasn't been an easy time for him. He was, though, always confident he would come through it having done so on several occasions previously.

“I’ve had injuries before,” he said. “I broke my two legs and I had a shoulder operation as well and they’ve all kept me out for roughly the same period of time of 10 to 12 weeks. It’s not my first injury and it won’t be my last. That’s the same for any player with injuries. It’s unfortunate at times, but that’s football and you deal with it.”

HeraldScotland: Kieran Tierney and Brendan RodgersKieran Tierney and Brendan Rodgers

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So was there, as was mooted, ever any prospect of Tierney requiring surgery? “Apparently I was going for a hip operation and it was the same one Andy Murray had," he said. "It’s funny how things grow arms and legs. People say one thing and it leads to another. You don’t believe everything you read.

“There is nothing you can do for the problem but rest. It was always just rest. There is no operation that would have been helpful in any way for it. It was just overuse and the 10 weeks did me the world of good. The rest benefitted me both mentally and physically. It was probably a good thing for the long term."

Tierney has started in five games for Celtic since making his comeback against Motherwell in a Ladbrokes Premiership game at Parkhead last month and has experienced no difficulties. “Maybe after a game you feel a wee bit of pain for a day or something,” he said. “Today I actually feel alright with it, it’s perfect. I don’t know, maybe next season with all those games again so tight together it could feel a bit achy. But it’s nothing likely to affect me in future.”

When Rodgers moved to Leicester last month it was claimed that Tierney had shared the sense of outrage felt by many of his fellow fans and had let the Northern Irishman know about it in no uncertain terms - by telling him to go and take a running jump.

It is, however, news to him. “I said that?” he asked. “No, I’ve not seen him since. I had a few text messages just after he left but that’s it."

Rodgers helped Tierney, along with his team mates and countrymen Stuart Armstrong, Ryan Christie, James Forrest and Callum McGregor, to develop enormously during his two-and-three-quarter years in Glasgow. The left back admitted he was, like those who sit in the stands, stunned by the sudden exit of his mentor. But he is focusing firmly on the future now.

“Was I surprised?” he said. “Yeah, because it all happened overnight. We woke up in the morning and it was all over the papers and the news with everybody talking about it. We went up to Lennoxtown and the next thing we know we’ve got a new manager.

“Listen, he gave us so much success and I think it’s just hard the way it’s all happened for us. For the players, we’re all supporters of the club as well. We’re fighting for the badge and that’s what the fans want you to do. So it’s hard for the players and it’s hard for the fans.

“The most important thing for us all is to get behind the team and the management staff now. That’s what’s going to take us forward and that’s what we need to concentrate on.

“When you are back playing you just think about your next game and if you get the call-up it’s like an added bonus for you. You are not expecting the call, because you are just back from injury. But it’s a pleasure to be here and I’m just grateful for the chance.”