JACK HENDRY’S loan switch before the transfer deadline could be scuppered because of Filip Benkovic’s injury situation.

It looked as though the central defender, bought from Dundee for £1.3million a year ago, was on his way out at Celtic to get game-time elsewhere.

Hendry was linked with Sunderland, Portsmouth and Barnsley to agree a temporary contract until the end of the season before returning to the champions.

However, Croatian Under-21 international Benkovic will be out until at least March with an ankle problem which leaves Brendan Rodgers with a problem in central defence.

The on-loan Leicester City back-four operator missed last night’s 2-0 Premiership victory over St Johnstone after sustaining an injury in the 3-0 win over Hamilton Accies at the weekend.

Benkovic will now be sidelined for at least five league games, the Scottish Cup-tie against St Johnstone and the Europa League last-32 meeting with Valencia.

Rodgers admitted: “Initially, he’ll be out for around four to five weeks.

“He will have his ankle in a boot for the next couple of weeks and then we will assess it after four weeks and it will take a week to 10 days to get back into training rhythm again.
“It is disappointing, but Jozo Simunovic came in and was excellent against St Johnstone, concentrated, alert, defended well, passed it well and when he is like that he is a very good player.”

The Hoops manager added: “We’ll assess the squad and see if anyone can go out on loan.

“But Filip’s injury could now change the plan for Jack Hendry.”

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