Celtic have been dealt a blow ahead of their Champions League qualifiers against Northern Irish outfit Linfield with the news that defender Dedryck Boyata will be out of action for up to three months with a knee injury.
The 26 year old Belgian damaged medial knee ligaments during Celtic’s pre-season friendly draw with Slavia Prague on Tuesday.
Following the news of Boyata’s injury, Celtic assistant Chris Davies said: “It’s really disappointing for Dedryck. But no doubt he will do the work he has to do in rehab and come back even stronger and better.
“The timeline that the medical team are looking at is up to three months but we are always optimistic and we will see what we can do.”
Celtic may need to look at strengthening their defensive options with the likes of Mikael Lustig, Erik Sviatchenko, veteran Kolo Toure and youngster Kristoffer Ajer the only options open to them to replace Boyata.
Although Davies remained coy on the club dipping their toes into the market for a defender.
He added: “It’s something that we will discuss. We will see what needs to be done. We want to retain the players we have got here at the minute, we are happy with what we have got. If the right player becomes available and we can do the right business for the club, then we will look at that.”
Boyata signed for Celtic in the summer of 2015 after signing a four year deal, following his departure from Manchester City.
He has made 64 appearances for the Scottish champions, scoring nine times in his two years at the club, and was part of the invincibles treble winning season last term.