DAIZEN MAEDA is on the brink of being ruled out of Celtic’s crucial league and Cup double bid.

The Japanese speedster has suffered a hamstring injury and is already OUT off tomorrow’s vitally important Premiership game against St Mirren at Parkhead before the SPFL split.

Brendan Rodgers admitted he was unsure if Maeda will return in time for the five-game title run-in or the Scottish Cup semi-final against Aberdeen at Hampden a week tomorrow.

It’s a blow for the fans’ favourite and the manager with the pacy left-winger again highlighting his value to the team with his lightning strike in 21 seconds in the 3-3 draw at Ibrox last weekend.

PICK IT OUT…Daizen Maeda runs away in triumph after netting his quickfire goal at Ibrox.

A concerned Rodgers, speaking to Sky Sports, said: “Daizen will miss the weekend. He picked up an injury high in his hamstring, his tendon, so we will have to see what that looks like in the coming weeks.

“But he is certainly not available for the weekend.

“We will see where it goes in the next week or so and then we will understand better what inclusion he will have between now and the end of the season.

“Liam Scales has picked up a slight strain in his abductor, so the likelihood is that he won’t be involved.”

The Maeda setback could open the door for Luis Palma who has shown up well in training at Lennoxtown this week as he fights back from injury.

Stephen Welsh and Gustaf Lagerbielke will be on stand-by to get the nod to replace the crocked Scales.

The champions can open a four-point gap at the Premiership pinnacle with Philippe Clement’s Ibrox outfit not in action until the following day with a match against Ross County in Dingwall.


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