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Last Updated:  Tuesday, 18 March, 2003, 17:50 GMT
Sutton injury blow
Chris Sutton lies injured at Hampden during the CIS Cup final
Chris Sutton was stretchered off at Hampden as Celtic lost the final
Celtic striker Chris Sutton will be sidelined for a minimum of four weeks following a collision with teammate Bobo Balde.

He will not only miss Thursday's Uefa Cup quarter-final second leg against Liverpool but will now also miss most of the run-in to the end of the SPL campaign with Celtic neck-and-neck with Rangers in the title race.

Sutton suffered a broken wrist in the CIS Insurance Cup final defeat by Rangers and underwent surgery on Sunday evening.

The Englishman fell awkwardly inside the opposition penalty box during the 2-1 defeat after an accidental clash with his own team-mate, Balde.

Celtic manager Martin O'Neill admitted that it was massive blow for his side, especially so close to the second leg against Liverpool.

But he said: "I cannot think of Liverpool at this minute."

O'Neill had resisted the temptation to rest players ahead of the European tie.

"Their effort was fantastic without a doubt," said O'Neill.

"They just went on and on. They were sensational."

Sutton, who was stretchered off at Hampden Park, will remain in hospital overnight and will have his arm in plaster for six weeks.

He may able to return at some point before the cast is removed, but Celtic's resources have been stretched further during a hectic March programme.

Top scorer Henrik Larsson has only just recovered from a double fracture of the jaw.

Wing-back Didier Agathe was ruled out for six weeks after pulling up injured in last weekend's 1-0 Scottish Premier League defeat of Rangers.

Sutton and midfielder Alan Thompson were both substituted in the first leg against Liverpool at Celtic Park after picking up injuries that made them doubtful to face Rangers.

Both passed late fitness tests before the Hampden showdown as O'Neill decided against resting anyone ahead of the trip to Anfield.

Now Sutton looks like he will definitely miss the match after adding the broken wrist to his other knocks.

The second leg of the European tie is quickly followed on Sunday by a Scottish Cup quarter-final away to Inverness Caledonian Thistle.




CELTIC

RANGERS

SEE ALSO
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16 Mar 03  |  Other Scottish
Rangers retain CIS Cup
16 Mar 03  |  Other Scottish

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