To his frustration, much of this season has been on the outside looking in for Leigh Griffiths.

The striker’s problematic calves has been a factor in that but an element of squad rotation has played its part. The perennial suggestion, too, is that Griffiths’ own colourful private life has had a role in an inability to get in and stay in.

With a consistent run in the team, the evidence from the striker’s performances in the opening stages of the season would have encouraged a school of thought that hitting the 100-goal mark was coming sooner rather than later.

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With just four to go to reach it, it does appear like a simple matter of time. But that the journey to get there has taken longer than expected has come down to his lack of availability.

Punching the ground when he pulled up shortly after scoring against Hibs, Griffiths’ own exasperation was palpable. His manager too has voiced an element of frustration too.

“He is still out but he is responding to treatment,” said Rodgers. “I am not 100% sure when he will be back.

“It is unfortunate. He got into a good little rhythm there and then broke down. It was unfortunate bit you seen his frustration the day it happened and there is no-one more frustrated than him.

“He had come into the team just after having to sit out because he had come back from Dubai and was due to start but was injured for that game [Brechin] so we just have to deal with it.”

Griffiths’ situation is not the only headache that Rodgers’ has had in a season that has been dominated by an injury list.

The Celtic manager has acknowledged that it has been disruptive to his squad selection but has maintained that he has attempted to focus on what he has had rather than what he hasn’t.

“I think that we try to not cry about it or moan about it,” said Rodgers. “You have to pick a team and you have a squad for a reason but certainly it is a factor, it doesn’t help when there is constant change in certain areas of the field.

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“I think there are certain areas where you do have to have freshness, but sometimes we have looked to get a rhythm with the team and then one or two players get injured. But we just deal with it.”

Meanwhile, Rodgers had the rare experience this week of having the chance to get onto the training ground at Lennoxtown with the opportunity to get to work with his squad.

It was the first time since Celtic’s Champions League qualifier against Rosenborg that the Parkhead side have not had a midweek game to prepare for, excusing international weeks or the mid-season break.

With Partick Thistle looming in the Scottish Cup on Saturday afternoon and the Europa League tie against Zenit St Petersburg drawing into sharp focus, Rodgers welcomed the chance to take something of a breather while also getting the preparatory work done.

“It’s been brilliant,” he said. “It was good, obviously, after the game to give the players two days off on the Sunday and Monday and then we were back in working.

“We’ve had a great week’s training and been able to do some work which is very important. We’re now looking forward to the schedule ahead.”

Celtic’s defeat to Kilmarnock at Rugby Park was only the second time since Rodgers arrived at the club that he has lost a domestic game.

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Inevitably there is criticism in the wake of a defeat but the Celtic boss was insistent that he did not overly dwell on the performance, believing that much of his side’s staid performance was down to the artificial surface.

“I was obviously disappointed in terms of what we created but I could never say we have gone to Kilmarnock in my time here and been battering down the door,” reflected Rodgers. “Because of the surface it’s never been the case.

“We’ve won 1-0, 2-0 there. I think the pitch, smaller this year, it was dry, so for me I never got too hung up about the score last week because the boys gave everything in the game.

“Stevie’s teams are well organised, they drop deep, and when you have that type of team and opponents you have to be able to play one and two-touch quickly to open up the gaps and that was near on impossible. It was similar to the game in Gibraltar in relation to the pitch.

“It is a real leveller and can make it difficult for you. But you take that.

“[Against] Hearts was excellent. We were excellent. We had speed in the game, we pressed the game and the creativity was good, we had a lot of chances. You don’t go from that to that on Saturday where you can hardly create anything and there have been limited changes.”