Double injury blow for Celtic as key duo face spells on sidelines

Celtic have been dealt a double injury blow with Kristoffer Ajer and Craig Gordon facing spells on the sidelines.

Goalkeeper Gordon picked up an injury during the 2-1 win over RB Leipzig in the Europa League on Thursday night, and sat out the 0-0 draw with Livingston at the Tony Macaroni Arena on Sunday afternoon.

He received treatment from the Hoops’ medical staff during the Group B match, but finished the match.

Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers said: “Craig took a bad knock in the week. Credit to him for carrying on on Thursday.”

Brendan Rodgers was happy enough with a point at Livingston but has been dealt a further blow on the injury front. Picture: PA

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The veteran ‘keeper has all but been ruled out of Scotland’s double header with Albania and Israel in the UEFA Nations League.

Asked by the BBC about Gordon’s chances of being fit for Scotland, Rodgers added: “I don’t think so, he came through with an injury during the week with his knee and his hip. So almost certainly he won’t make it.”

Ajer, meanwhile, started against Livingston in place of Filip Benkovic, but took a sore one as he challenged for the ball with Lions defender Craig Halkett.

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Craig Gordon helped Celtic to a fine 2-1 win over RB Leipzig but sustained an injury during the match. Picture: SNS Group

The defender looked dazed as he received treatment, eventually being replaced by the Croatian with around 20 minutes remaining, but the Norwegian international could require an operation on a suspected broken eye socket.

Rodgers told Celtic TV: “[Kristoffer] looks like he’s broken his eye socket. It isn’t so good. It was just unfortunate, so he’s in a lot of pain.

“He will probably require surgery on it.”

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The 20-year-old was out for a month with a hamstring injury sustained in the 1-0 Betfred Cup quarter final win over St Johnstone in late September, but came back to make appearances against Hearts in the Betfred Cup semi-final win over Hearts, the 5-0 wins over Dundee and Hearts in the league and came off the bench against Leipzig.

Kristoffer Ajer looks groggy as he receives treatment on his eye. Picture: SNS Group

Ajer and Gordon will join Daniel Arzani, Scott Brown, Leigh Griffiths, Eboue Kouassi, Olivier Ntcham and Jozo Simunovic on the sidelines.