Key Celtic midfielder Reo Hatate is now a major doubt for the upcoming Old Firm clash against Rangers after suffering a calf injury.

The Japanese midfielder, 25, went off injured in the Parkhead side’s Pittodrie win over Aberdeen at the weekend, Hatate having already replaced David Turnbull in the match.

Despite ex-Motherwell man Turnbull being preferred to Reo Hatate in the early part of Celtic’s season, the midfielder is a key member of the club’s squad and would’ve been eyeing a start v Rangers.

Rangers v Celtic - Cinch Premiership
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But according to the Scottish Daily Mail [16/08 print edition, back page], that now looks incredibly unlikely with the ex-Kawasaki Frontale player ruled put for up to a month.

Reo Hatate to miss Rangers v Celtic clash

The report claims that Reo Hatate has a suffered a grade two calf tear which will likely see the player miss a month of football.

With matches against Kilmarnock and St Johnstone to come in the Premiership in that space of time, Celtic are also set to face off against Rangers at Ibrox September 3rd.

Whilst there is still plenty of football to be played up until that first Old Firm of the season, there is already one eye on the upcoming clash between Rangers and Celtic.

A combination of Michael Beale’s new-look Rangers side and Brendan Rodgers’ unsure return increase the box office element of the clash as both sides look to lay down a marker.

Rangers FC v Celtic FC - Cinch Scottish Premiership
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Celtic are last season’s treble winners and will be looking to reassert their dominance whilst Rangers, having lost on opening day to Kilmarnock, can win over supporters with victory.

However, Reo Hatate will likely play no part in the game as Celtic rue missing out on one of their best players and Rangers focus attentions elsewhere.

The Japanese midfielder has been a thorn in Rangers’ side in this fixture, scoring a double in that infamous Parkhead win of 2022 which cemented their league comeback.

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