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Brendan Rodgers reveals unexpected injury boost

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Brendan Rodgers has revealed that Daizen Maeda is ahead of schedule after being injured away to Atletico Madrid on November 7.

As well as being sent off the Japanese internationalist picked up an injury in the Champions League tie with a six week timeline suggested for his return.

With Jota sold and Liel Abada out injured Maeda’s injury left Rodgers without the three first choice wingers from last season.

Luis Palma has stepped up to an extent but it is obvious that Celtic no longer have the wide options and goal threat that saw them power their way to last season’s treble.

On November 10 BBC Scotland reported Rodgers saying:

Daizen will probably be up to six weeks out. He has strained his medial knee ligament which comes from when you just knock a player on the foot.

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.

Rodgers is fairly vague on player injuries but if Maeda is ahead of schedule a return to playing over the next 10 days seems realistic.

This week’s matches against Hibs and Kilmarnock possibly come too soon but the December 13 match against Feyenoord could be a target with five SPFL matches still to be played before the winter break starts following the match away to St Mirren on January 2.

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