NEW Bhoy Hatem Abd Elhamed is an injury scare for the first leg of Celtic’s Champions League third round qualifier against Cluj in Romania on Wednesday.
The Israeli right-back limped off shortly after the turnaround in his first appearance for the champions in the 7-0 mauling of St Johnstone on Flag Day at Parkhead yesterday.
Elhamed, recruited for £1.2million from Hapoel Be’er Sheva as a replacement for Mikael Lustig, looked impressive in the opening 45 minutes, but pulled up six minutes into the restart.
Neil Lennon took no risks and immediately replaced the defender with Anthony Ralston as the Hoops continued to pulverise their Perth visitors.
The Irishman, speaking to the club website, said: “He got a dead leg just before half-time. I felt he could maybe go on for another 10 or 15 minutes, but there might have been a bit of a bleed there. We will just have to monitor him.
“I thought he was outstanding in the first-half. His partner on the other side, Boli Bolingoli, had a great game, as well. They are two big, strong, direct full-backs. They played very well.”
Asked if Elhamed is doubtful for the Cluj confrontation, Lennon replied: “Possibly. We are hoping he will make it. We will have Christopher Jullien and Jozo Simunovic back in the squad for that one, as well.”
The £7million Frenchman and the Croatian stopper were both suspended for the romp against the Saints.
Simunovic will also miss out on the match against Motherwell at Fir Park on Saturday after copping a two-game ban following a red card in the team’s goalless draw against St Gallen in the pre-season friendly in Switzerland.