Christopher Jullien has spoken of his relief at being able to exert some influence after returning to the Celtic backline following his absence.

The Frenchman had a back issue that required treatment but is optimistic that he can have a role on shoring up what has been a desperately porous Celtic defence this term.

He and Shane Duffy look likely to be given the opportunity to create a partnership with Jullien confident that they solve the problems that have repeatedly been on show this season.

The defender did not require surgery but did return to Germany to work with medical staff he knew from a previous issue.

“To be on the field and help the team and not think about doing a movement and you are going to have pain, that's really good,” he said.

“I was out for two-three months so I spoke with the coach about feeling strange to come back into it and he listened to me, like Milan last week not going too fast.

“I am really happy about that and I thank the coach for that. I just have to get the rhythm of the games now and try to help the team.

“To play and have no pain is just a relief and I am just happy to be back now and try my best for the team. When I wasn't playing it was really bad and I was hurting in front of my (TV) screen.

"I was just getting treatment from guys who know my body. It's been 10 years that I was working with them and they knew exactly what the problem was. The thing I was really proud of was how they and the medical staff of the club worked together to find exactly the problem. That was really good and I am really happy about it. It was a lot of work on my back and on my core fitness.

"Surgery was definitely not an option. We talked about it with the coach. We wanted the most efficient stuff without surgery so I could come back as quickly as possible. There was a lot of manipulation, stretching, relaxation and working on my core and of course some physio and working with the chiropractor. For two weeks it was intense, but I am happy about the results.”

Jullien can offer a threat at set-pieces, as evidenced on Thursday night when he scored against Lille. David Turnbull’s corner led to the goal with the defender insisting that if the delivery is right then there is always a strong chance of it leading to a goal.

“David has really good feet and can deliver good balls like Ryan [Christie],” he said. “The ball was good and I remembered as I was running that he is right footed because I was used to Ryan with the left foot, so the ball was going more towards the goal and I remembered that on the way which is why I went early. 

“It's 90 per cent of it if they can put the ball where I just have to do my job. It was a good delivery and a good thing for the team to start the game like that.”