DAIZEN MAEDA will complete a 12,000-mile round trip before returning to Lennoxtown within the next few days.

Celtic’s Japanese striker has made the journey to just sit on the substitutes’ bench for the entire 90 minutes-plus in Japan’s 1-1 draw with Uruguay in Tokyo on Friday.

Meada has now dropped out of the squad for Tuesday’s match against Columbia – a glorified friendly under the guise of the Kirin Cup – and is heading back to Scotland.

THE LAST POST…Daizen Maeda lies injured on the ground after scoring against Hearts earlier this month.

It’s a mysterious situation with his national trainers saying the 25-year-old forward arrived while carrying an injury sustained following a clash with Hearts keeper Zander Clark when he scored the equaliser in the 3-1 win at Parkhead 18 days ago.

The pacy attacker missed the 3-0 Scottish Cup triumph over the same opposition at Tynecastle the following weekend, but returned in the 3-1 comeback triumph over Hibs in Glasgow last weekend.

Maeda played for an hour against the Easter Road outfit and then headed to catch up with his Japan team-mates for the international double-header.

It’s surely inconceivable that the Celtic medical team would allow a player to make such an exhausting journey while not 100 per cent fit.

For instance, Aaron Mooy was not risked to travel for Australia’s two games against Ecuador, Cameron Carter-Vickers was overlooked by USA’s new gaffer Anthony Hudson because of an injury concern while Greg Taylor was rested by Scotland.

SHOVE OFF…Daizen Maeda in hectic action for Japan against Croatia in the World Cup Finals in Qatar.

Plus you have to believe Japanese international manager Hajime Moriyasu would not even have had Maeda stripped and on the bench for the match against the Uruguayans.

Possibly the puzzle will be answered in the forthcoming week in the countdown to the Premiership restart against Ross County in Dingwall a week today.

Liel Abada has been returned after sustaining a training injury with Israel while Anthony Ralston pulled out of Scotland’s Euro24 squad today after answering an SOS during the week to join up before the qualifiers against Cyprus and Spain.

Skipper Callum McGregor made his 50th appearances in the 3-0 win over the Cyrpriots at Hampden yesterday with John McGinn and Scott McTominay (2) netting the goals.

Sead Haksabanovic was withdrawn at half-time in Montenegro’s 1-0 win over Bulgaria during the week and his situation is unclear.

The Hoops medical staff could be in for a busy week ahead.


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