BRENDAN RODGERS admits he is exasperated at the growing injury pile-up as he plots to get Celtic back on track after the massive setback at Kilmarnock on Sunday.

The Hoops boss is preparing his squad for the match against St Johnstone at Parkhead on Saturday ahead of their trip to Ibrox for the first derby of the encounter eight days later.

Rodgers was without crocked trio Alistair Johnston, Cameron Carter-Vickers and Reo Hatate in the Viaplay League exit at Rugby Park while stand-by stopper Stephen Welsh was also ruled out following a freak accident in training 48 hours earlier.

RACE AGAINST THE CROCK…Maik Nawrocki was injured in the Viaplay League Cup exit.

New Bhoy Maik Nawrocki hirpled off with a hamstring strain after only his third first-team appearance which leaves the manager with Gustaf Lagerbiekle, signed just four days before the Killie calamity, as his only fully-fit centre-back.

Yuki Kobayashi is also struggling for peak fitness while South Korean international striker Oh Hyeon-gyu has yet to kick a ball in competitive football this season.

Rodgers, speaking to The Scottish Sun, said: “It’s very frustrating. You want to have your best players available and, clearly, that’s not the case for us.

“We just have to deal with it. We’ve got lots of capable players in the squad and they’ll step up.

“Ibrox is a great place to go and win as a Celtic manager and player and that will be our aim.

“We will go there and look to play to the level we want to play in terms of performance and if we can do that we’ll always be in with a chance.”

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