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Page last updated at 10:26 GMT, Sunday, 19 October 2008 11:26 UK

Injury problems mount for Celtic

Celtic striker Georgios Samaras
Samaras is Celtic's top scorer this season with 10 goals

Celtic are facing an injury crisis ahead of Tuesday's Champions League clash against Manchester United.

Georgios Samaras missed Saturday's win at Inverness and is due to have a cartilage operation.

Gary Caldwell required stitches to treat an ankle injury in the Highlands and Marc Crosas was substituted late on with a hamstring problem.

The SPL champions are already without Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink and Andreas Hinkel for the trip to Old Trafford.

Samaras, 23, has netted 10 goals in 11 games this season. He returned injured from international duty with Greece and was travelling to Dublin on Sunday for a cartilage operation.

The Celtic striker played 62 minutes of his country's World Cup qualifying defeat by Switzerland on Wednesday, before being substituted.


Vennegoor of Hesselink, meanwhile, was this week ruled out for up to a month.

The Holland striker has yet to recover from the groin injury he sustained in the SPL win over Hamilton on 4 October.

The 29-year-old Dutchman may miss nine matches in all competitions in what is set to be a hectic period of fixtures for Celtic.

Samaras could be out for up to seven games, leaving manager Gordon Strachan with only Scott McDonald as his only tried-and-trusted target man during that period.

"There are definitely a few knocks about the place," said Celtic manager Gordon Strachan.

"It's hugely disappointing to be without Jan and Georgios. We have also lost Chris Killen, who is a very good player, so we are without three physical strikers who give you lots of options.

"I think when you go to Old Trafford you want to have a full selection fit. When you look at the team, the speed and the ability is good but the physical side is a problem."

see also
Inverness CT 1-2 Celtic
18 Oct 08 |  Scottish Premier

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