DAIZEN MAEDA is latest first-teamer to be hit by the injury jinx that has severely disrupted Celtic since the start of the season.
The Japanese winger is out for around a month and a half and joins his fellow-countryman Reo Hatate and winger Liel Abada while Maik Nawrocki, the £4.3million recruit from Legia Warsaw in August, has missed the last 14 games.
Stephen Welsh has also been a long-term crock and Cameron Carter-Vickers sat out a chunk of the campaign before coming back as a second-half substitute in the agonising 2-1 Champions League loss to Lazio at the beginning of last month.
Plus Celtic fans are still awaiting their first glimpse of Australian international forward Marco Tilio after his summer recruitment.
OVER AND OUT…Daizen Maeda in the challenge on Mario Hermoso that brought the red card – and a serious injury.
Ironically, Maeda was injured in the collision with Atletico Madrid’s Mario Hermoso in the 22nd minute of the 6-0 thrashing in the Spanish capital. The yellow card was upgraded to red after the referee was ordered to review the clash on the touchline monitor.
Frustrated Hoops gaffer Brendan Rodgers, speaking to Sky Sports, admitted: “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.”
Maeda’s enforced absence could open the door for Yang Hyun-jun, Mikey Johnston or evergreen James Forrest with Luis Palma now looking to be a certain starter against Aberdeen at Parkhead on Sunday.