Celtic midfielder Niall McGinn has thanked Neil Lennon for his backing as he prepares to end a five-month nightmare.
McGinn is hoping to play for Northern Ireland on Friday against Italy in a Euro 2012 qualifier even though he is yet to make a first-team appearance this season since breaking his right foot during a routine training session.
Now with only one reserve match behind him, McGinn has declared himself fit and ready to face the former world champions, saying: "Neil Lennon has been very supportive. He was on at me all the time wondering if I was going to get called up or not."
He added: "He still takes a big interest in Northern Ireland and asks how the players are getting on and what they are up to.
"It is good to see him showing an interest as obviously he played for Northern Ireland.
"I am feeling fine now. It has been a long time since I played for Celtic. I came back three weeks ago and played a reserve game against Motherwell and training has been going well.
"I have been in the Celtic squad the last three games but haven't stripped. I am ready to get going and hopefully I will have a big part to play against Italy."