BRENDAN RODGERS has hinted Daizen Maeda could be back in action a lot sooner than anticipated.

It was feared Celtic’s flying winger would miss the countdown to the league and Cup double bid with six games scheduled within the next month.

Maeda has been out with a hamstring problem since the 3-3 draw at Ibrox on April 7 when he opened the scoring in 21 SECONDS.

THE FAST SHOW…Daizen Maeda races away in triumph after his 21-second strike at Ibrox.

The champions, three points ahead with five league matches to play, take on Dundee at Dens Park on Sunday and then have Hearts at Parkhead the following weekend. Next up, it’s Rangers in the east end of the city before a midweek trip to face Kilmarnock at Rugby Park.

St Mirren provide the opposition on what will hopefully be a third consecutive Flag Day in Paradise on Saturday May 18 and then the holders face Philippe Clement’s Ibrox outfit in the Scottish Cup showpiece at Hampden a month today.

It looked as though Maeda would be sidelined for the crucial fixtures, but the Japanese international speedster has responded well to treatment and could now make a dramatic return for the Hoops, as reported in the Scottish Sun.

Rodgers revealed the possibility of a quickfire return for Maeda during a Q&A with supporters last night.

On Friday, the Hoops gaffer had admitted: “I’m not sure we’ll see Daizen again this season, I don’t expect him to feature too much.”

ON THE RUN…Daizen Maeda in typical flying form in the 3-0 win at Livingston last month.

Nicolas Kuhn and Yang Hun-jun started on the wings in the Scottish Cup semi-final against Aberdeen at Hampden on Saturday.

The German, a £3million January recruit from Rapid Vienna, hit the first goal to nullify the Dons’ early strike in the 3-3 extra-time thriller. He was replaced by Luis Palma in the 86th minute and the South Korean got the hook just after the hour mark.

Yang had a disappointing outing at the national stadium and it was no surprise to see him depart with the introduction of James Forrest, who put Celtic 2-1 ahead shortly after his appearance.

A comeback by Maeda ahead of schedule would be welcomed by everyone.

Click Here for Comments >

About Author