Celtic forward Daizen Maeda has missed training while on international duty with Japan, raising a potential concern for Ange Postecoglou.
The 24-year-old played the first half on Friday as Japan beat United States 2-0 in a friendly in Dusseldorf. The Celtic attacker was one of three players that Hajime Moriyasu subbed off at the interval.
Japan are due to face Ecuador at the same stadium on Tuesday afternoon, but Maeda must now be considered a doubt for that fixture.
The Japanese FA say that Maeda ‘returned to the hotel’ rather than taking part in the training session.
That’s because he ‘felt a pain in his right leg’ which may now undergo further examination.
The manager will need to make use of his full squad between now and the World Cup, with the Hoops due to play 13 games in 42 days as they fight on three fronts.
Maeda has appeared in all of Celtic’s matches so far this season, starting five times in the Premiership and once in the Scottish League Cup. He has only scored one goal (in the 4-1 cup win over Ross County) but he has registered four assists, which ranks him joint-second in the Celtic squad behind Matt O’Riley (five).
Moriyasu has described him as ‘very quick‘, while The Athletic’s Kieran Devlin has applauded his ‘great’ work-rate and pressing, also saying that his offerings in possession also are ‘wildly underrated’.
The 25-year-old would duly be a big miss for Celtic if he had to spend some time on the sidelines.
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