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Daizen Maeda makes big call on his injury

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Daizen Maeda has cut short his stay with the Japanese national team to return to Celtic to focus on a critical month at club level.

The forward was an unused substitute in Friday’s 1-1 draw with Uruguay but will take no part in Monday’s clash with Colombia.

Maeda has been pictured using a bike machine but it appears that his current priority is Celtic business after playing a significant part in getting the club into a position to make a clean sweep of domestic honours.

The Scotsman report Maeda saying:

I would rather return to the team and prepare for the league match than remain in the national team. There are things I can’t get unless I come here. I was inspired by the top Japanese players. Although I was withdrawn, I performed well at the club and will be representing again in June, I want to come back during the period.

That message is confusing in places but an early return to Celtic will give the club’s medical team time to assess his fitness situation.

Maeda picked up an injury scoring against Hearts on March 8 that forced his substitution and saw him sit out the Scottish Cup tie at Tynecastle three days later.

He did start against Hibs on March 18 but there appears to be some sort of injury that needs assessed and managed with two Glasgow derbies coming up in April.

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