fbpx Skip to main content

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers believes Daizen Maeda has come back from the Asian Cup in better shape than he left.

The forward has declared himself ready to start in Wednesday’s cinch Premiership contest against Hibernian at Easter Road.

Maeda made two substitute appearances for Japan before starting in Saturday’s quarter-final defeat by Iran, playing the first 67 minutes.

The 26-year-old had played the last five games before the Premiership winter break after recovering from a knee injury, and Rodgers feels the attacker is up to speed after his international duties.

“Daizen Maeda is back, which is great news, and fit and healthy,” Rodgers said.

“He is actually in a better place now than he was when he left because he was still trying to get up to speed.

“He has gone away, trained, played some games. I spoke to him when he did come back and he feels ready to start if we need him.”

Greg Taylor
Greg Taylor is still absent (PA)

Celtic will otherwise have an unchanged squad for the trip to Edinburgh following Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Aberdeen, with Greg Taylor still working his way back from a calf problem.

However, the left-back might return against St Mirren in the Scottish Gas Scottish Cup on Sunday.

“We will see how he is for the weekend but he is out on the pitch,” Rodgers said.

“He is moving really well, it will just be getting the sign-off from the medical team. If it’s not the weekend, he will be ready for the next game.”