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Maybe 6-9 months: Neil Lennon delivers shock injury news

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Chris Jullien could miss the start of next season through injury.

The defender suffered knee ligament damage when he collided with a goal post in the 2-0 win over Dundee United on December 30.

Three days later at Ibrox Neil Lennon revealed that Jullien would be out for three or four months but after returning to France for rehab the Celtic boss has put a far longer timetable on the defenders’ recovery.

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I’ve said that he is out for a long period of time, maybe 6-9 months. He’s just gone back to do some rehab in France.

With that sort of timescale it looks unlikely that Jullien will be at full strength for pre-season training in June with UEFA qualifiers starting in July.

At the moment Stephen Welsh and Kris Ajer have paired up in central defence but beyond that Lennon only has Shane Duffy to call on with Nir Bitton out injured.

When Jullien got injured it seemed likely that Celtic would sign a central defender in January but despite Hatem Abd Elhamed leaving the only January arrival was Jonjoe Kenny at right-back.

With their fixture backlog completed and some doubt over whether the Scottish Cup will be played there might just be nine matches to be played with restricted options in central defence.

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