BRENDAN RODGERS is facing a central defensive crisis ahead of Celtic’s crucial Betfred League Cup semi-final against Hearts at Murrayfield on Sunday.

Jozo Simunovic was stretchered off during last night’s disappointing 2-0 Europa League Group B defeat against RB Leipzig in Germany.

And the Croatian star is now a major doubt for the clash with Craig Levein’s side.

Dedryck Boyata is already suspended following his red card in the previous round against St Johnstone while Norwegian stopper Kristoffer Ajer is also on the injured list.

Jack Hendry came on for Simunovic for the last 16 minutes in the RB Arena and could face the Edinburgh men. On-loan Filip Benkovic, who was on the substitutes’ bench last night, could also get the nod to start.

Hoops gaffer Rodgers admitted: “Jozo looks like he’ll be struggling. He took an awkward landing when he jumped for the ball. He will be a question mark for the weekend.

“Unfortunately Dedryck Boyata, who I thought was outstanding against Leipzig, won’t be available for us.”

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