Injuries Update: Brendan Rodgers provides big injury hope for December Celtic clash vs Rangers

Brendan Rodgers reckons Daizen Maeda has a good chance of being involved in the Celtic derby against Rangers on December 30th despite his six-week layoff.

Yesterday, Rodgers revealed Maeda suffered a knee injury in the defeat to Atletico Madrid on Wednesday night and would be out for over a month.

The timescale suggested that the Japanese star was a major doubt for the derby at the end of the year, but in follow-up comments, Rodgers sounds far more hopeful that he will make it back for that.

The Celtic boss said [Daily Record]: “He’ll hopefully be back for then. I’m pretty sure if you are looking at him that he’s a quick healer. We’ll just have to see but at this moment in time, he’s down in London having his assessment. But by that period he should be back.

“If he was in stronger in the challenge he probably wouldn’t have had the injury. The clash of feet has just opened up the knee ligament. It’s a big shame for us because he has been brilliant for me since I came here.

“His attitude and mentality is superb. He initials the pressure for us. Anyone who knows football could see it wasn’t a red, it was just a clash of feet. The irony was as soon as the red card came out their player was miraculously back off the floor. It’s a real shame because he’s been like a machine for us.”

Celtic host Rangers in a lunchtime kick-off on December 30th, the last game of both clubs’ calen

The Ibrox side are currently eight points behind the Bhoys but hold a game in hand. With a busy schedule of fixtures in December, there’ll be moments when both clubs could drop points.

It’s key that Celtic show their quality in the derby and deliver a second win of the season against our rivals. It would send a message that despite a change of manager, 2024 will be one of continued success for the reigning champions.

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