Ryan Christie will undergo surgery this week after the Celtic midfielder suffered “multiple facial fractures” in his side’s Scottish Cup semi-final win over Aberdeen on Sunday.
The former Aberdeen loan star was taken from the field on a stretcher wearing a neck brace after coming off worse in an aerial collision with Dons defender Dominic Ball.
Neil Lennon said in the aftermath of the match, which Celtic won 3-0 thanks to goals from James Forrest, Odsonne Edouard and Tom Rogic, that the Hoops were unsure if it was “a broken eye socket or a fractured cheekbone”.
Christie was treated for around seven minutes on the Hampden pitch before eventually being taken off the field of play.
The 24-year-old took to social media earlier this week, posting a picture of his badly bruised face, with the caption: “Rumour has it we won 3-0... Thank you so much to everyone for all the amazing messages and support”.
Speaking after the match, Lennon said: “I don’t think there is any real intent from Dominic [Ball] to hurt Ryan but he is late in the challenge.
“Unfortunately we have lost Ryan to what could be a very bad injury. He was conscious at half-time. According to the medical team, we are hopeful he will be fit for the final when it comes around.
“We are looking at maybe three or four weeks out. Both myself and Derek heard the crack, it was a hell of a challenge. But again I apportion no blame to Dominic, there was no intent.”
Celtic confirmed Christie’s surgery with a post on Twitter reading: “Ryan Christie has suffered multiple facial fractures following the incident during Sunday’s Scottish Cup semi-final. Ryan is scheduled to undergo surgery on Thursday of this week. Everyone at Celtic wishes Ryan Christie all the best for his full recovery.”