Sunday 19 November 2017

Celtic defender Erik Sviatchenko faces over a month on the sidelines

Erik Sviatchenko of Celtic arrives at the stadium prior to the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and Rangers at Celtic Park on March 12, 2017 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
Erik Sviatchenko of Celtic arrives at the stadium prior to the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and Rangers at Celtic Park on March 12, 2017 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Ronnie Esplin

Celtic centre-back Erik Sviatchenko has been ruled out of the Champions League play-offs.

The Dane suffered a knee ligament injury during Celtic's qualifying win over Rosenborg on Wednesday and faces about six weeks out, meaning he will miss both play-off legs against Astana of Kazakhstan later this month.

Manager Brendan Rodgers was already without Dedryck Boyata until September with a knee injury and played midfielder Nir Bitton beside Jozo Simunovic in Norway after Sviatchenko went off.

Speaking at his pre-match media conference ahead of the Ladbrokes Premiership opener against Hearts, Rodgers said: "We've just had his results so he will probably be up to about six weeks, which is disappointing.

"It could have been worse but we will take it at six weeks, not probably back until September."

Sviatchenko had missed the first leg with a groin injury and returned to training on the eve of the 1-0 away victory.

The 25-year-old vowed to return quickly.

Writing on Twitter, Sviatchenko said: "Gutted to miss the next exciting weeks with an injury. It's a very straight forward recovery and I'll be back asap »#alwaysafighter."

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