FORMER Celtic star Jonny Hayes faces a fitness race to play against his old club in the forthcoming crucial double-header.

The Hoops are due to take on Aberdeen at Pittodrie on Sunday and the teams will square up again a week later at Hampden in last season’s delayed Scottish Cup semi-final.

Hayes, who rejoined the Dons in the summer when his three-year deal expired, was forced to come off during his team’s 4-2 Premiership win over Hamilton Accies last night.

The versatile Republic of Ireland international lasted only 32 minutes when he had to leave the field after going down with an injury.

Boss Derek McInnes, speaking to the Daily Record, said: “Jonny will get a scan tomorrow. He is feeling his groin and he did the right thing in coming off.”

Hayes has been a key figure after going back to Pittodrie and the club will be eager to make sure he is ready for the twin challenge from Neil Lennon’s side.

Ironically, the 32-year-old left-sided performer, was a registered Celtic player when the Cup semi-final was due to be played last season before it was postponed during the lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The SFA hierarchy allowed his registration to be switched to the Dons after the game was rescheduled for the start of next month.

Hayes cost Brendan Rodgers £1.3million when he joined the Hoops only weeks after he had scored for McInnes’ side in the Scottish Cup Final in May 2017. Fortunately, Stuart Armstrong levelled and Tom Rogic netted his memorable last-gasp winner to clinch The Invincibles’ season in fabulous style.

Celtic can lift the phenomenal quadruple treble if they overcome the Dons in the last-four encounter to set up a Cup Final showpiece against either Hibs or Hearts at the national stadium on December 20.

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