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Kyogo Furuhashi is a major injury doubt for boss Ange Postecoglou after the Celtic forward missed training on Thursday ahead of hosting Hibernian, according to The Scottish Sun.

The Bhoys return to Premiership action at Parkhead on Monday following the winter break. But Postecoglou may now be without his star striker at home to Shaun Maloney’s side.

Furuhashi was absent from training at Lennoxtown on Thursday as the Hoops prepared for Hibs’ visit to Glasgow. His absence now sparks fears over his involvement, having suffered a recurrence of a previous hamstring issue at St Johnstone during their Boxing Day win.

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Postecoglou already opted to rest Furuhashi while he recovers from the hamstring injury in Celtic’s friendly with St Mirren. The Bhoys faced Jim Goodwin’s Buddies in a bounce game at the club’s training ground on Wednesday.

The SPFL give Ange what he wants as Jota returns to training | Scott McDonald on 67 Hail Hail

But the Hoops gaffer will be gutted if he has to sit the 26-year-old out of their Premiership return. Furuhashi has been a sensation since joining Celtic from Vissel Kobe for £4.5m last summer. He has scored 16 goals and provided five assists in 26 games in all competitions.

Furuhashi injury to offer Maeda instant Celtic debut?

Postecoglou will no doubt have hoped to see Furuhashi recover from his hamstring injury for Celtic’s clash with Hibernian. The Australian coach has been full of praise for the Japan international since his arrival in Scotland. He told Open Goal in November for example:

“I was the person least surprised by how well he adjusted – I witnessed it first-hand. As a manager, I was there for three-years. Whenever we played Vissel Kobe, my defenders used to tell me he’d be the nightmare and that his movement was just ridiculous.”

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But if injury keeps Furuhashi from facing Hibernian, Postecoglou may give Daizen Maeda an instant Celtic debut. The Japanese forward has followed his compatriot to Parkhead in an initial loan deal that carries a £1.7m purchase clause.

Maeda has spoken of the ‘very strong’ attack he hopes to form with Furuhashi in Glasgow. But Postecoglou may need to rely on what the 24-year-old showed in 2021 to beat Hibs.

The Yokohama F Marinos loanee scored a J-League joint-high 23 goals over 36 outings last year. He scored 15 of his efforts on the left-wing, but also struck seven in nine games as a centre-forward. Nine of his goals – with four at striker – also came under Postecoglou.

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