CELTIC have been dealt a severe double injury setback with Cameron Carter-Vickers AND Maik Nawrocki ruled out for TWO months.
It’s a massive blow for Brendan Rodgers who will also be without back-up central defender Stephen Welsh for three to four months after a freak training ground accident on Friday.
The Hoops will now move swiftly into the transfer market for reinforcements with only Gustaf Lagerbiekle, signed a week ago from Elfsborg, and Liam Scales available while Yuki Kobyashi is still attempting to achieve full fitness after a knock he received in pre-season.
OUT…Cameron Carter-Vickers faces two months on the sidelines.
Rodgers will almost certainly go with the Swede and the Republic of Ireland international against St Johnstone at Parkhead on Saturday and then turn his attention to the first derby of the campaign at Ibrox eight days later.
The first round of the Champions League group games is due in the midweek of September 19/20 with the draw due a week today.
Carter-Vickers, who missed the last six games of the previous campaign as he underwent knee surgery, was forced off at half-time in the 3-1 win over Aberdeen at Pittdrie in the second Premiership match of the crusade.
The USA World Cup centre-back was reported to be suffering from a hamstring problem while Nawrocki, signed from Legia Warsaw last month, sustained a similar injury in the closing stages of the holders’ 1-0 Viaplay League Cup exit against Kilmarnock at Rugby Park on Sunday.
OUT…Maik Nawrocki injured a hamstring in defeat at Kilmarnock.
Rodgers said: “I think we have to look at it, there is no doubt it is an area we are light on.
“When you are losing three players for that length of time and knowing the number of games that we will have and the importance of every game, it’s definitely something we have to look at.
“I think especially at centre-half it’s a specialised position where the experience always helps.
“We’ve got lots of young players in the squad, but naturally to bring those players on and bring them through they need to play with players not just of experience, but players of quality.”
The Hoops gaffer, speaking to the media, added: “You need to hopefully try and align both because you’ll see the best of those players, the guys who are young and developing and dealing with the expectation.
“They can play alongside the guys who are going to pull them through and bring out that potential, ideally that’s what you want.”