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Boyata to miss Celtic's Europa League match against Zenit

The defender has joined Brendan Rodgers' growing list of injury casualties.

Celtic defender Dedryck Boyata (cemtre) leaves the field against Kilmarnock.
Celtic defender Dedryck Boyata (cemtre) leaves the field against Kilmarnock. SNS

Injured defender Dedryck Boyata is set to miss Celtic's Europa League first leg tie against Zenit St-Petersburg.

The Belgian centre-half joined the Scottish champions' growing list of injury casualties when he was forced to leave the field against Kilmarnock on Saturday.

Kristoffer Ajer also limped off during the Rugby Park defeat, but is expected to return for this weekend's Scottish Cup match with Partick Thistle having recovered quickly from a knock to the Achilles.

Boyata, however, faces a longer period on the sidelines after picking up a groin injury.

Asked if he'd be available for selection on February 15, Parkhead boss Brendan Rodgers said: "I don't think he will be, the medical team are saying it will probably be around a couple of weeks.

"We are just assessing that day by day, it's an unfortunate situation we are in but we get on with it."

"Kris Ajer should be okay, he took a nasty knock to his Achilles similar to Nir Bitton on the surface the last time we played there (at Kilmarnock), but he should be okay for the weekend.

Towering centre-half Jozo Simunovic also returns for Thistle's visit to Glasgow's east end, having missed the Kilmarnock fixture as a precaution due to the artificial grass surface in Ayrshire.

Rodgers added: "Jozo Simunovic will be back in as we are playing on grass.

"One or two of the guys have started to return to training.

"The likes of Tom Rogic and Patrick Roberts have rejoined training, but they are a wee bit of time off from games.

"It's been one of them seasons, we've had a lot of injuries, a lot of bad luck really. But whatever squad we put out we always look to win the game."

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