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Football: A knee injury might keep Celtic forward Maeda out for…….

Football: A knee injury could keep Celtic forward Maeda out for up to six weeks.

On November 7, 2023, during the Champions League Group E soccer match between Atletico Madrid and Celtic at the Metropolitano stadium in Madrid, Spain, Daizen Maeda of Celtic challenges Mario Hermoso of Atletico Madrid for the ball. (AP Photo/Jose Breton)

KYOTODO, LONDON — Daizen Maeda is set to miss Japan’s two upcoming qualifiers for the 2026 World Cup, with Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers confirming Friday that the forward is out for up to six weeks with a knee injury.

Maeda was hurt on Tuesday while making a challenge that earned him a straight red card in the 23rd minute of Celtic’s 6-0 loss away to Atletico Madrid in the Champions League group stage.

“It’s a big shame for us because he’s been brilliant for me since I came here,” said Rodgers, who took the reins in the summer.

Maeda was included in the 26-man Japanese team, which will play Myanmar in Osaka on Thursday to begin the Asian qualifying second round. Hajime Moriyasu’s side play civil war-hit Syria in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, five days later.

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