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BENKOVIC’S PLANS FOR BRENDAN

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FILIP BENKOVIC is eager to get back into Celtic central defence – and repay Brendan Rodgers’ confidence in his ability.

The crocked Croatian Under-21 international is likely to be sidelined for the remainder of this month after sustaining an ankle injury in the 3-0 win over Hamilton Accies 13 days ago.

Benkovic had toiled in the Ibrox encounter before the turn of the year and didn’t last until half-time before Rodgers was forced to replace him and bring on Kristoffer Ajer.

The elegant stopper, on loan from Leicester City until the end of the season, said: “Up until the injury, everything was super. I was so happy.

“Now I have to do all the examinations, then we will know the diagnosis and recovery time.

“I enjoy being at Celtic, the coach trusts me and I have played a lot of big games.

“Hopefully, I won’t be out for a long time.”

The champions have been jinxed in the middle of the rearguard in this campaign and Dedryck Boyata, Jozo Simunovic and Ajer have sustained an assortment of knocks that have kept them out.

Jack Hendry, bought from Dundee for £1.3million 13 months ago, was poised to go out on loan, but Rodgers had to scupper his plans to give the Scotland game time elsewhere and keep him at Parkhead.

Nir Bitton, coming back from injury that wrcecked the last 11 months, came on for Boyata late in the 2-0 win over Hibs on Wednesday.

Despite the problem pile-up, the Hoops haven’t conceded a goal in their six games in 2019 with keeper Scott Bain racking up the clean sheets.

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