Daizen Maeda’s tackle that led to his red card against Atletico Madrid on Tuesday will likely be his last Champions League action of the season as he is ruled out for around six weeks.
The Japan forward suffered a knee injury in the incident that will keep him out for a month and a half and represents a blow to Brendan Rodgers with a string of vital fixtures on the horizon.
Celtic’s slim chances of progressing any further in Europe after Christmas hang by a thread with them needing to win both their remaining group games and hope Atletico do likewise.
Even in that scenario they will need to better Lazio’s 2-1 win in Glasgow when they come up against the Serie A side in Rome to reach the last-16.
As well as both remaining Champions League fixtures, Maeda will also be missing for some crucial Premiership fixtures against the likes of Aberdeen, Hearts and Hibs, but should return in time to play against Rangers in the New Year derby.
Speaking to the press on Friday, manager Brendan Rodgers said: “Daizen will probably be up to six weeks out with the injury from the challenge. He has strained his medial knee ligament.
“If he was in stronger in the challenge he probably wouldn’t have had the injury. The clash of feet has just opened up the knee ligament.
“It’s a big shame for us because he has been brilliant for me since I came here.”
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