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McGowan’s worrying update on Reo Hatate injury

Reo Hatate has at best a 50-50 chance of being fit for the Glasgow Derby on September 3.

The midfielder pulled up with an injury midway through the second half of Sunday’s win over Aberdeen which was believed to be calf related.

The well informed Stephen McGowan claims that the injury is a grade two tier with a recovery time of three to four weeks.

Celtic travel to Ibrox three weeks on from the win at Aberdeen- unless Hatate’s injury responds ahead of schedule Brendan Rodgers will have to plan for that fixture without the influential midfielder.

Late on Tuesday night McGowan of the Daily Mail reported:

REO HATATE faces a race against time to be fit for Celtic’s Old Firm trip to Ibrox to face arch-rivals Rangers at the start of next month.

A half-time substitute in Sunday’s 3-1 win over Aberdeen, the Japanese midfielder lasted 25 minutes before succumbing to a calf injury.

Mail Sport understands that tests revealed a grade two calf tear, with an anticipated recovery time of three or four wees.

The champions travel to Ibrox to meet Michael Beale’s side on September 3, with Hatate now a significant doubt.

Following the Glasgow Derby Celtic don’t play again until September 16 when they host Dundee which probably eases the decision on Hatate for Ibrox.

Unless he has taken a full part in training in the days before the match it would be sensible to leave him out of the Derby match in the fairly safe knowledge that another fortnight allows him a complete recovery to be ready for the opening Champions League match on September 19/20.

In the background to the injury is speculation that a major bid could be coming in for the Celtic midfielder who was named as a substitute for the first two SPFL matches of the season.

Hatate was in outstanding form during Celtic’s two matches in Japan, was OK against Wolves in Dublin but was badly out of sorts at home to Athletic Bilbao even though he did score a goal in his 45 minute appearance.

It was a major surprise when he was named as a substitute for the SPFL opener against Ross County with David Turnbull selected ahead of him.

That sparked further speculation, mainly on social media about a transfer bid coming in with Brendan Rodgers not in the mood to be grilled on the reasons for Hatate’s demotion.

‘It’s not in my contract to play any player’ was the curt reply which brought one discussion to a close and sparked a lot more questions about the relationship between player and manager.

The bottom line is that Celtic will be without Hatate for the next few games which possibly opens the door to Odin Thiago Holm to push his case.

When Hatate got injured at Aberdeen Rodgers turned to the young Norwegian to come on despite Tomoki Iwata being a regular substitute last season.

Holm’s confidence and composure caught the eye during a trying time in the match at Aberdeen, grabbing his chance without asking for any allowances.

The pitch at Rugby Park will have to be taken into consideration before a side is named but with Hatate unlikely to play at Ibrox Rodgers will be hopeful that no more injuries are picked up in the two matches before he takes his side to Ibrox.

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