Kennedy signs Celtic deal

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The Independent Football

The Celtic defender John Kennedy has signed a new deal that keeps him at the club until the summer of 2007. The one-year extension to his current contract comes as a massive boost to the player as he continues his recovery from a serious knee injury.

Kennedy's Scotland debut ended in agony when he suffered cruciate knee ligament damage following a crunching tackle from Romania's Vio Ganea in March of last year.

He has since undergone three operations to rebuild his knee. However, the Celtic manager, Gordon Strachan, has made it clear the 22-year-old still has a big part to play at the club and news of his new deal comes in the same week that Kennedy returned to first-team training.

And he insists knowing his future is secure can only aid his efforts to play for the top team again.

Kennedy told the club's official website: "I am delighted to sign a new one-year extension with Celtic. I have obviously been out injured for some considerable time. However, I am honoured with the faith the club has placed in me.

"Although I have returned to first-team training this week, I know the road ahead is a long one. The new deal allows me to concentrate on getting back to full fitness."

Strachan believes that the attitude of Kennedy in fighting back from an injury that threatened to end his career deserved to be rewarded.

He said: "There is no doubt that John has had a pretty tough journey over the last year and a half.

"However, he has shown great mental strength and determination to get where he is now. I am delighted he has agreed this new contract with the club."

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