LEIGH GRIFFITHS is set to miss Celtic’s second UEFA Champions League qualification campaign after Brendan Rodgers revealed that the player is facing up to three weeks on the sidelines.

Having established a 3-0 first-leg win over Alashkert this week, Celtic are expected to progress with little drama to the second qualifying round where they will play either Icelandic side Valur or Norwegian side Rosenborg.

Griffiths sat out Tuesday night’s game and is expected now to also miss the next round with a thigh problem.

It will be a blow for the Scotland striker who revealed that he eschewed a summer holiday this year in order to work on his fitness in the gym to ensure that he was fully fit for the beginning of the season. Griffiths’ recent campaigns have been staccato in nature because of a succession of niggling injuries and this setback will ensure that he misses out on the vital opening period of the season.

“Marvin [Compper] is back in training with the squad but Leigh, along with Jonny Hayes too, is probably two or three weeks away,” said Rodgers. “We’ll know more in a few weeks’ time.

“It’s unfortunate really for him but that’s how football works. For any player when you miss a period of pre-season it’s always difficult, especially if you’ve worked hard.

“You want to be at a good level and get as much of your fitness in during this period so it’s unfortunate for any player that’s out.”

On a brighter note for Rodgers, Tom Rogic is expected to be fit to play in the next round of the Champions League qualifier.

Rogic and Cristian Gamboa have returned to training at Lennoxtown after their performances at the World Cup with Australia and Costa Rica respectively.

“Tom and Cristian came back on Thursday,” said Rodgers. “From the time of going out, they’ve both had a couple of weeks. Mika [Lustig] will have another week and Dedryck [Boyata] will be a couple of weeks after Saturday.

‘With Tom, it’s one where he’s coming back from a couple of weeks off so we need to rebuild him back up over the next couple of weeks. All being well, he’ll be ready for the home leg of the next round game.”

Rodgers will field two teams on Saturday afternoon as Celtic host Standard Liege in a pre-season friendly at Celtic Park.

With qualification to the next qualification round essentially secured with the first-leg win this week, Rodgers will utilise this weekend’s game as a means to ensuring that everyone is exposed to some level of game time.

“We will play two teams, getting 45 minutes each,” said the Celtic manager. “We are only three and a half weeks into pre-season so the objective in these games is still to develop our fitness, using as many players as we possibly can.

“That doesn’t change because of the first leg result against Alashkert. We need to keep working, building up our base which is at a really good level and improving our physicality.”