Injury Latest – Daizen Maeda misses Japan’s Kirin Cup clash with Uruguay

Daizen Maeda has missed out on playing for Japan for this morning’s 10.30am Kirin Cup clash with Uruguay. Japanese publication Hochi advises Maeda was absent from Japan’s final training session and had as such been removed from the matchday squad as a result.

Maeda was forced off injured in the first-half of the Scottish Premiership clash with Hearts of 8 March. The Japanese striker levelled for Celtic side following a terrific pass from Kyogo after Anthony Ralston had sent the attacker through. Maeda was on hand to convert but it was just a short time after when the 25-year-old pulled up on the pitch after seemingly getting his studs caught in the turf.

Japan’s coach Hajime Moriyasu gestures to Daizen Maeda during the Qatar 2022 World Cup round of 16 football match between Japan and Croatia at the Al-Janoub Stadium in Al-Wakrah, south of Doha on December 5, 2022. (Photo by FRANCOIS-XAVIER MARIT/AFP via Getty Images)

Celtic’s medical team arrived on the scene to tend to their player but Ange Postecoglou that he’d take no chances and took off the goal scorer and replaced him with Jota.

Maeda returned to the starting line up to play Hibs before going on international duty, but whilst with his national side had admitted to making training adjustments to ensure he was ready for games – “I have adjusted for about an hour by cycling and jogging before training. I’m going to make adjustments so that I can make it in time for games.”

Sadly, those adjustments haven’t been enough for Maeda to make the starting line up this morning, and that will raise some concerns for Ange Postecoglou and the Celtic support with the Hoops homing in on retaining their league title and with a domestic treble at the forefront of everyone’s minds.

Maeda has been in brilliant form for Celtic and arguably his involvement with the Japan team at the World Cup led to a lift in domestic performances after he returned from the World Cup having received high praise for his selfless performances and a goal to boot.

It seems however the swings and roundabouts of international football have this time seen Maeda drop out of the Japan team and we can all but hope the decision was a precautionary measure rather than a further injury set-back for the Japanese attacker, and Maeda can return to Celtic to play his part in the end of season run-in as Celtic look to make a clean sweep of domestic honours.

Niall J


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As a Bellshill Bhoy I was taken to my first Celtic game in the summer of 1987. It was Billy McNeill’s return to Celtic Park as manager and Celtic lost 5-1 to Arsenal . I thought I was a jinx, I think my Grandfather might have thought the same. It was the finest gift anyone ever gave me when he walked me through Parkhead's gates.

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