There has been a flurry of injury news surrounding Celtic in recent weeks. They are certainly affecting starting XI choices and have put Brendan Rodgers in a difficult position. If the Hoops did not already have too much to deal with on their plate, there is a worrying update coming from the ongoing AFC Asian Cup.
Reo Hatate had recently made a comeback from an injury, managing some time on the pitch against St Mirren, before the Scottish winter break. He was then called up, somewhat unexpectedly, to the Japan squad for the AFC Asian Cup.
Despite his lack of game time for the Hoops before joining up with the Japan squad, Hatate was beginning to feature more frequently for his national team. He was even selected to start for their third group stage game against Indonesia.
Hatate appeared to make a good impression on Japan manager Hajime Moriyasu in that match and was selected to start again for the last 16 match against Bahrain. Unfortunately, things did not go according to plan for the Celtic midfielder.
Celtic player could be out for eight weeks with injury
Hatate had to be substituted off in the first half of that match. It appeared to be a calf issue and unfortunately, it looks like the Japanese midfielder is set for another spell on the sidelines.
As reported by Gekisaka (via Daily Record), Hatate has suffered from a torn calf muscle which is expected to keep him sidelined for four to eight weeks. The first part of his rehab is already taking place in the Japan camp rather than returning to Celtic immediately.
Especially after the departure of David Turnbull on deadline day, this is bad news for Celtic. The Hoops have been missing Hatate’s energy in midfield and his precision passing as well. His injury situation is certainly a worry, as this is the third separate issue.