Daizen Maeda sends defiant social media message; injury return timeline after Celtic absence

By John McGinley

March 12, 2023

Celtic star Daizen Maeda has declared he is “ready to fight” again after missing the weekend match against Hearts with a knee injury.

The Japanese winger bravely gave everything to score against the Jam Tarts in the first fixture against them on Wednesday night, but his knee collided with the opposition goalkeeper in the process.

Ange Postecoglou confirmed he didn’t train in the build-up to Saturday’s Scottish Cup win at Tynecastle and was “50/50” to feature. However, he also told reporters before and after the game he expects Maeda to be in contention to return to the squad for next week’s game against Hibernian. The player’s comments on Twitter tonight tally with that as he thanked supporters for all the messages he’s received and declared himself ready to go again.

Daizen Maeda now a crucial part of the Celtic machine

Maeda is one of four Celtic players to reach double figures for goals this season alongside Jota, Liel Abada and Kyogo Furuhashi – but what the World Cup star brings to the team goes well beyond that.

His continuous running, ability to pressure opponents and link-ups with teammates such as Greg Taylor has ensured he’s become a firm part of Ange Postecoglou’s regular starting eleven.

If he’s fit enough for the match against Hibs, he’d be likely to start given recent evidence. His presence would likely be a positive to Celtic’s overall performance, too.

Postecoglou does have other options including Sead Haksabanovic and Abada. Both have proven to be impressive impact substitutes in recent weeks.

However, what Maeda gives the Bhoys from the start of most games fully justifies his continued selection. Thankfully he’s on the mend again!

In other news, Aaron Mooy’s brilliant comments on what the Celtic experience feels like.