CELTIC will be without midfielder Tom Rogic for the first leg of the Champions League qualifying tie against Alashkert in Armenia.

The Australian has been given two weeks off by Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers following his exertions for his country at the World Cup, where he started all three group matches before being eliminated after the loss to Peru on Tuesday.

That means he won’t join training with Celtic until after the squad return from the Alashkert game on July 10th.

“He’ll have two weeks off from now, so he’ll be back when we arrive home from the first leg,” Rodgers said. “He’ll be back training on the 12th of July.

“He won’t be playing in the first leg, it’s a long season for us and he’s just off the back of World Cup preparation and World Cup group stages, so he’ll have two weeks free and then come back fresh and ready for hopefully another exciting season.”

All of the Celtic players who are involved in the tournament will be given a fortnight to recover before reporting back for club duty, meaning that Cristian Gamboa will also miss the Alashkert match after Costa Rica were eliminated after their final group match on Wednesday. 

Sweden’s win over Mexico and Germany’s dramatic loss to South Korea means that Mikael Lustig will now play in the knockout stages along with Dedryck Boyata for Belgium.

“I’m obviously delighted for Mika because it’s obviously a brilliant result that they have had [on Wednesday],” Rodgers said. “They are through and that is great.

“Dedryck has gone in and looked very, very good in his games, and they are through as well. We hope they can do well and hopefully they can stay injury free so we get them back fit and ready.

“All the boys from when they go out, they’ve got two weeks.”

Rodgers has meanwhile paid tribute to departing midfielder Stuart Armstrong, who joined Southampton in a £7million deal earlier this week.

The Celtic manager was sad to see a player go that he believes will now be bonded to him for the rest of their days after what they achieved together at the club.

“I’m obviously sad to lose a guy who has been with us on this remarkable journey in these last couple of seasons,” he said.

“We’ve something now to bind us together for life, so it’s always sad when the first one moves on.

“It’s a dream for him to play in the Premier League. He had to go for the club, it’s a sensible decision from the club’s perspective, so I’m happy for him that he gets the move.

“He’s been brilliant for me in his time and to see him progress and develop into the player that we hoped he was going to be once we came in I’m delighted for him.

“I’ll miss him as a person and as a professional, but that’s football, and I wish him all the very best.

“He’s got all the tools to thrive. I told him before he went just to stay aggressive, he doesn’t need to wait on anyone, get on the front foot from your very first day in training.

“He’s going to a wonderful club, Southampton has a real good environment to train and to work. He’s going in with a good manager, good coaching staff, so I’ve no doubt he’s got all the tools.

“He’s athletic, he’s got pace, and he’s got an instinct that not all midfielders have to get in the box and score goals, so it’s a very good move for both, and I think it’s good business by Celtic.”