JOZO SIMUNOVIC is set for a spell on the sidelines as he struggles to overcome a knee injury.
The Celtic central defender has missed the last three games – the 3-1 triumph over Hearts, 4-1 win versus AIK in Stockholm and 2-0 victory against Rangers – to leave boss Neil Lennon problems at the heart of his rearguard.
Christopher Jullien, the £7million summer buy from Toulouse, has been a mainstay while Nir Bitton has helped to form a strong partnership.
However, the Israeli limped off with what looked like a hamstring injury at Ibrox and could be out for a month.
Lennon could be without the services of the Croatian centre-half and, speaking to The Sun, the Hoops boss admitted: “We will need to send Jozo to a specialist.
COMEBACK BHOY…Tom Rogic is poised to return.
“Nir will be three or four weeks, Kristoffer Ajer will be 10 days. We are hoping to have him back for Hamilton.”
The champions face Accies with a midday kick-off a week on Saturday and there is a possibility of a return for Tom Rogic who has not kicked a ball since the 2-1 Scottish Cup Final success over Hearts on May 25.
Lennon added: “I’m hoping to get Tom Rogic back in contention for the squad for the Hamilton game.
“He looks brilliant. He’s in great condition, he’s lost weight and he’s training well.”
CELTIC’S Europa League rivals Rennes have splashed a club record £18million on winger Raphinha.
The Brazilian joined from Sporting Lisbon on deadline day with the French Cup winners pipping Sevilla for his signature.
The 22-year-old forward took the side’s spending to almost £48million as they have strengthened with the likes of M’Baye Niang and Flavien Tair, according to transfermarkt.co.uk.
The Hoops kick off their group stages campaign in France on Thursday, September 19.
GREG KILTIE, who has agreed a season-long loan at Dunfermline, insists he was not “given a fair chance” by new Kilmarnock boss Angelo Alessio.
The midfielder made only four substitute appearances since the summer arrival of the Italian to succeed Steve Clarke.
Kiltie, speaking to BBC Sport, said: “I’ve got a year left on my contract, so I need to play.
“I can’t be rotting away. I made that clear to the manager at Kilmarnock and I don’t think I’ve been given a fair opportunity when I’ve done enough to justify that.
“I think the Kilmarnock fans would back me up on that, but it wasn’t to be.”
Kiltie, ended last season on a temporary switch to Morton, added: “I’m at Dunfermline for the season unless Kilmarnock decide otherwise. You never know what will happen.
“The situation could change at Kilmarnock, or at Dunfermline, so you stay open to things.”
KIRK BROADFOOT admitted it was “great to be back” after rejoining St Mirren on a two-year deal after leaving Kilmarnock.
The 35-year-old former Scotland international defender started with the Paisley side, making 175 matches in a five-year spell from 2002 before moving to Rangers.
Broadfoot, who was released from his Rugby Park contract on Monday. told BBC Sport: “I’ve always had it in the back of my mind that I’d like to finish my career where I started.
“I know the club and it’s great to be back. Hopefully, I can get the good relationship back that I had with the fans before I left.”
OSMAN SOW has quit Dundee United for a short-term loan deal at Kilmarnock.
The striker has agreed a switch to the Ayrshire outfit until January and he will be joined at Rugby Park by Wolves defender Connor Johnson and Venezia forward Harvey St Clair who have also arrived on temporary transfers.
Johnson, 21, and Scotland Under-21 international St Clair, 20, will remain at Killie until the end of the season.
During his previous spell with Hearts, Sow scored 23 goals in 52 appearances.
The 29-year-old Swede moved to Tannadice in January from MK Dons, but has played just one game in this campaign.
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