Celtic assistant manager Chris Davies has played down reports that Dedryck Boyata could return to the side for tomorrow night’s Scottish Premiership clash against Hibernian, according to the Celts Are Here website.

The Bhoys find themselves short of centre-backs with Filip Benkovic also injured and Kristoffer Ajer suspended following his red card against St Johnstone at the weekend.

However, with Boyata having been sidelined since last month with a groin problem, the match could come too soon for the Belgium international to return to the Celtic first team.

“Boyata trained on Monday, having been out for a couple of weeks, so we’ll see how he reacts, then we’ll see what his availability is like for Wednesday night,” the report quoted Davies as telling Celtic TV.

“As he’s been injured for a couple of weeks, we’ll have to see.

“He had a slight groin issue, we had to get that right,” he confirmed.

With Kieran Tierney, Anthony Ralston and Mikael Lustig also absent, Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers has some reshuffling to do as he bids to keep his side clear at the top of the table.

Despite the Bhoys’ injury problems, the Northern Irishman has options with Jack Hendry and Jozo Simunovic fit and both should line up in the centre of defence.

That means Celtic will not rush Boyata back into action and will not select him until he is fully fit – especially with Ajer available for the weekend’s Cup game against St Johnston after his one-game suspension.

It has been an up-and-down season for Boyata, who was linked with a move away from the Bhoys during the summer transfer window.

After staying put, he has made 22 appearances in all competitions for Celtic during a campaign punctuated by injury problems.


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