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Celtic and Zenit sharing the defensive injuries with Ivanovic a doubt

Zenit St Petersburg's coach Roberto Mancini looks on  during  the UEFA Europa League Group L football match between FK Vardar and Zenit Saint-Petersburg at the Filip II Arena in Skopje on...

Losing the former Chelsea star would be a blow to the Russian club as it appears Celtic may not be the only team without their full defensive contingent.

Georgi Shchennikov (L) of PFC CSKA Moscow is challenged by Branislav Ivanovic of FC Zenit Saint Petersburg during the Russian Premier League match between PFC CSKA Moscow and FC Zenit...

Zenit St Petersburg defender Branislav Ivanovic, 33, is yet to be given the all-clear by the club doctors to play against Celtic in the Europa League on Thursday. 

The former Chelsea stalwart picked up an injury a few weeks ago but his recovery has not gone as expected, with the Serbian expecting to have been given the go-ahead this close to the game. 

The 33-year-old three-time Premier League champion still has a chance of playing if a last minute scan suggests he is fit. However, the veteran's inclusion in the squad to travel to Glasgow has been put in jeopardy.

Zenit are coming off the back of their winter-break but have been playing warm-up fixtures to re-gain some match fitness going into the knock-out tie. 

Head coach of FC Zenit Roberto Mancini during the Russian Premier League match between FC Rubin Kazan and FC Zenit Saint Petersburg at Kazan Arena stadium on November 5, 2017 in Kazan,...

Their last game came against Maribor which ended 3-1, however, Ivanovic was not given permission to play by the club doctors. 

According to the Sun, Zenit boss Roberto Mancini said: "He must undergo a physical examination. He must meet with a doctor and then we can say when the period of recovery will finally end. All we can do is rejoice at the fact that we do not have other serious injuries."

Perhaps Zenit should genuinely rejoice in the fact that they do not have any other serious injuries. 

Ivanovic is no doubt an important player to the Russian giants, however, their list of injured players is dwarfed by that of Celtic.

Craig Gordon of Celtic looks on dejected after PSG score their seventh goal during the UEFA Champions League group B match between Paris Saint-Germain and Celtic FC at Parc des Princes on...

With Craig Gordon and Leigh Griffiths sidelined for sometime, the Celt's defensive injury problems, which appeared to have lightened, were exacerbated when both Dedryk Boyata and Kristoffer Ajer limped off in a recent loss against Kilmarnock. 

Ajer has since returned to partner Jozo Simunovic at the heart of defence, yet the lack of continuity in terms of back four selection has been severely detrimental to Celtic's results this season and is not what they need going into their biggest game of the season.  

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