Celtic’s Nir Bitton ‘probably out for the season’ – Brendan Rodgers

Nir Bitton is probably out for the rest of the season with a knee problem, according to Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers.

The revelation represents another blow to the Hoops ahead of the first leg of their round-of-32 Europa League clash with Zenit St Petersburg at Parkhead on Thursday night.

The 26-year-old Israel international is ostensibly a midfielder but has been utilised more recently at centre-back by Rodgers, although he has been used sparingly with only three substitute appearances since the turn of the year.

Dedryck Boyata, Craig Gordon, Leigh Griffiths, Jonny Hayes, Anthony Ralston, Stuart Armstrong and Patrick Roberts are also injured, while Martin Compper is ineligible to play in the competition.

Australia midfielder Tom Rogic returned to the bench for the William Hill Scottish Cup win over Partick Thistle on Saturday after a long lay off with a knee injury but is unlikely to start.

Rodgers was quoted on www.telegraph.co.uk as saying: “Overall, this year has been – in terms of injuries – tough.

“Nir Bitton will probably be out for the season which is a blow for us.

“He has an issue with his knee and probably needs an operation and that is probably him for the rest of the season.

“It is a shame for Nir because he has been an important member of our squad.

“We are hoping some of the others will be back sooner rather than later.”

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