Brendan Rodgers confirms Celtic injury return rumour

Celtic v Rangers - Scottish Premier League
Celtic v Rangers - Scottish Premier League / Ian MacNicol/GettyImages

In an unexpected boost for Celtic, there is some great news about Daizen Maeda's fitness status. Initially, there were fears that the Japanese forward could be out for the rest of the season and has not featured since the trip to Ibrox. But there is some positive news for the Hoops, and potentially more sleepless nights for James Tavernier.

Maeda was ruled out of Celtic's last two matches, against St Mirren in the Premiership and then the Scottish Cup semi-final against Aberdeen. It looked as though an injury would keep the player out for the title run-in and effectively end his season early.

That was a significant loss for the club. You have to wonder if the Scottish Cup semi-final would have made it to extra time and penalties had Maeda been playing on the day. 

The latest news though is that Maeda may be on the fast track to fitness, much sooner than anybody expected. Perhaps his speed of recovery is as fast as his pace on the pitch.

Brendan Rodgers confirms Celtic injury return rumour

Rumours had started to do rounds online of Maeda's recovery. And for a change, it looks like they were not misplaced.

Maeda’s quick recovery and possible return was confirmed by Rodgers ahead of the weekend trip to face Dundee FC, as the Japanese forward is now back out on the pitch. As reported by the Daily Record, the Celtic boss said:

"The information we were given was that he was probably going to be out for the remainder of the season. But he has responded so well and after having scans and ultra scans, he is back out on the pitch, you'd think he had never been away.

"I was speaking to Tim (Williamson) the head of our medical team this morning and he said that in his time here, he (Maeda) never fails to amaze him in terms of his recovery and his overall physicality.

"We are getting nothing from the tendon injury that he felt after the game (against Rangers) which is great news, but there are still a few more steps to go through."

Maeda is on the right track to return and while the Dundee FC game might be too soon, we may see him for later matches. That is fantastic news for the squad, especially at a point where the quality on the flanks is under question again.

A lot of eyes will be on the home match against the Rangers in May. Maeda has had a lot of joy against their backline in recent games. Especially when he caused Tavernier to make an early error at Ibrox leading to the first Celtic goal in the last Glasgow Derby.