Celtic news: Two injured stars close to return - Sources

By Pete O'Rourke, Transfer Correspondent

3rd Dec, 2023 | 8:00am

Sources: Two Celtic stars close to return

Daizen Maeda and Liel Abada are stepping up their injury recoveries as they prepare to return to action for Celtic, sources have told Football Insider.

The duo have been sorely missed by Brendan Rodgers’ side – who bowed out of the Champions League with a 2-0 away defeat at Lazio on Tuesday (28 November).

Maeda suffered a medial knee ligament injury with the challenge that earned him a red card in the 6-0 defeat away at Atletico Madrid last month (7 November).

The Japan international, 26, is now stepping up his return as the busy festive schedule approaches.

Meanwhile, Abada has been out of action since suffering a serious thigh injury while on international duty with Israel in September.

The winger, 22, is now ramping up his recovery after last playing for Celtic in the 1-0 Old Firm derby win over Rangers on 3 September.

Football Insider revealed on Saturday (2 December) that Celtic are unlikely to welcome an influx of January signings after their Champions League exit.

Returns for Abada and Maeda over the Christmas period could instead provide a timely boost for manager Rodgers as he eyes his third Scottish Premiership title.

Abada had played five times across all competitions this season before his injury, notching one goal and one assist.

The 22-year-old signed a new four-year contract at Parkhead on transfer deadline day in September.

Maeda has racked up 17 appearances across all competitions this season, registering two goals and three assists.

He is also under contract until May 2027 after penning fresh terms in July.

Despite their Champions League disappointment, Celtic sit eight points clear of Rangers in the Scottish Premiership having played a game more than their Glasgow rivals.

In other news, star man to stay at Celtic after big development.