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‘Wee fella absolute machine’ ‘It’s true’ ‘miracle text’ Celtic fans react to Maeda rumour

Daizen Maeda appears to be on course for a surprise return to the Celtic side.

The forward was in outstanding form as he played the full 90 minutes at Ibrox on April 7 but four days later during a Coaching Convention at Lennoxtown his absence from training was noted.

The following day Brendan Rodgers revealed that there was a hamstring injury, no realistic timeline for his return was offered and Celtic fans suddenly realised the lack of options.

Luis Palma and Yang Hyun-jun have both had their moments this season but neither offer the industry, bravery and goal threat of Maeda. James Tavernier was believed to be delighted by the news that he wouldn’t have the Japanese internationalist closing him down again this season.

This week Celtic have been hosting a couple of fan related events, on Sunday it was Joe Hart, last night Brendan Rodgers was being questioned by some supporter.

In this day and age everything said is going to get out pretty quickly, about 9pm on Wednesday night one message was rapidly being passed around on WhatsApp.

Rodgers will go on the record tomorrow to preview the match against Dundee on Sunday, if Maeda is being pencilled in to the squad to face Hearts on May 4 it will be a very welcome boost for Celtic’s trophy hopes.

Another version of the discussion was that Maeda was due to fly back to Japan to complete his rehab but after a second scan revealed a very rapid recovery that plan was shelved with the player remaining at Lennoxtown with the expectation that he will soon be playing again.

On April 12, five days after scoring at Ibrox, the Daily Record reported Rodgers saying:

Daizen will miss the weekend and we will just need to see. He has an injury high-up in his hamstring in his tendon and we will have to see what that looks like in the coming weeks.

He is certainly not available for the weekend. It is one that the medical team will look at and see where that goes, then we will understand what inclusion he will have between now and the end of the season.

With six weeks to go in the season and the nature of the injury most fans assumed that they wouldn’t see Maeda again.

For such an explosive player any hamstring issue is a problem, even at 80% Maeda’s effectiveness would be completely nullified.

At 100% it is a very different story. Against St Mirren and Aberdeen Yang Hyun-jun has made little impact with Maeda missed in both an attacking and defensive sense.

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