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Celtic braced for new Hatate injury blow

Reo Hatate was given a reassuring hug from Brendan Rodgers following Celtic’s 3-0 win away to St Mirren.

The midfielder came on for the last 20 minutes of the match, his first since he left the Champions League tie against Atletico Madrid at the end of October in despair over a hamstring injury.

Hatate spent part of his rehab back in Japan, made the Celtic bench for the Glasgow Derby on December 30 which was good enough to earn a call up to the Japan squad for the Asian Cup.

Despite his impressive form in last season’s Champions League there was no place for Hatate in the 2022 World Cup Finals, the Asian Cup was his opportunity to impress and seemed to be the target as he went through his rehab.

Unfortunately for the midfielder, his club and country, it seems certain that Hatate will be returning to Scotland this week to access another injury, believed to be calf related.

Yatao is a Celtic fan based in Japan with 19,000 Twitter followers.

After two appearances in the group stage Hatate was in Japan’s Starting XI for the last 16 tie against Bahrain, sadly he only lasted 34 minutes, sitting down on the turf before having to go off.

In Celtic’s second game of the season, away at Aberdeen, Hatate came off the bench in the second half and suffered a calf injury that ruled him out for a month.

There was another two month absence between the Atletico match and returning against St Mirren.

Now there must be serious concerns about recurring injuries rather than simply setting a timeline for returning from the fourth muscle related injury in a year.

The issues of the transfer window will dominate over the next 24 hours or so but the hoped for boost of Hatate returning match fit appears to be a non-runner.

CLICK HERE for Hatate appearances season 23/24.

CLICK HERE for talks open on David Turnbull’s Celtic exit.

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