Celtic defender Hatem Abd Elhamed picks up virus with Israel

By David Walton

October 13, 2019

Celtic right-back Hatem Abd Elhamed has picked up a virus after Israel manager Andreas Herzog confirmed some worrying news.

Elhamed played the full 90 minutes of Israel’s 3-1 loss to Austria on Friday night. That contest continued a recent renaissance with the national team since moving to Parkhead.

But it seems as though Elhamed is close to certainly missing out tomorrow’s clash against Latvia. He’s played in Israel’s last three matches in competitive action, but doesn’t look like extending that run for now.

Hatem Abd Elhamed has been a key man for Israel since signing for Celtic (Jure Makovec/AFP/Getty Images)

Speaking in comments picked up by the Daily Record, Herzog confirmed the concerning injury update.

“Hatem Abd Elhamed is sick and has been suffering from a virus. He’s not trained and in fact hasn’t even left the team hotel.

“He’s not been able to eat with the rest of the group. Clearly, he’s a major doubt for the game.”

Hopefully nothing long-term, but Celtic have geared up well for incidents like this

This is where we thank our lucky stars the club signed Moritz Bauer in the summer. Despite the fact he was signed with many raising an eyebrow, he’s the perfect man to come in during a time like this.

Hopefully Elhamed does miss tomorrow’s clash with Latvia. It hasn’t been confirmed yet, but it would be surprising if Herzog included him after an update like that. And if he is feeling so poor, it would be best that he rested up.

Elhamed (left) played against Austria on Friday night (TF-Images/Getty Images)

If we don’t have Elhamed back in time for Ross County, it wouldn’t be a disaster for Bauer to come in. It would, however, be more of a concern if he was missing for the Lazio game next week.

Bauer is a fine footballer, but we could do with our best XI for every single Europa League match when you consider how difficult our group is.

After Lazio, we have another huge contest up in Aberdeen. These are all must-win matches, and for the tougher-looking fixtures, we have to keep Elhamed protected so that he can feature in them.

Moritz Bauer has proved he can come in and do a job (Joe Klamar/AFP/Getty Images)

Already, you have to say that Bauer is favourite to start against County on Saturday. We also have Jeremie Frimpong in reserve if we really needed a back-up to Bauer. If worse came to worst, Kristoffer Ajer has also proved that he can play in the position too.

We can only hope Elhamed’s virus isn’t anything long-term. He’s been sensational so far this season, and the sooner he’s back then the more chance we have of being successful.