REO HATATE at last has something to celebrate in the midst of an injury-hampered campaign.

Celtic’s Japanese midfielder turns 26 today and is hoping for a change of fortune in the new year.

Hatate was taken off early in the 2-2 Champions League draw with Atletico Madrid last month and extensive medical examinations highlighted hamstring problems which will keep him out of the team for the rest of 2023.

GAME OVER…Reo Hatate is tearful as he comes off against Atletico Madrid last month.

The £1.5million buy from Kawasaki Frontale in January last year has endured a stop-start term with Brendan Rodgers forced to do without his skills for the last five games and he also missed a chunk of the early part of the season following a setback in the seond league game against Aberdeen at Pittodrie.

Hatate was sent on for David Turnbull at the interval, but lasted only 15 minutes before breaking down and being replaced by new Bhoy Odin Holm.

Now the jinxed playmaker has been ordered to take a complete rest and we can only hope he returns to action with a renewed verve and vigour which marked his breakthrough appearances.

Until then, all at CQN and Celtic fans worldwide wish Reo a happy 26th birthday!

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