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Daizen Maeda gives Celtic major fitness boost

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Daizen Maeda is in line to play a major role in Celtic’s season finale after making a surprisingly swift recovery from injury.

The Japan international has not played since the 3-3 draw with Rangers on April 7 after suffering a hamstring tendon injury and looked set to miss the rest of the season.

But he was back running and kicking a ball with the medical staff at Celtic’s Lennoxtown training centre on Friday and manager Brendan Rodgers could have him back after Sunday’s cinch Premiership clash at Dundee.

Daizen Maeda, right, watched the Scottish Gas Scottish Cup semi-final from the stand (Andrew Milligan/PA)

The Celtic manager said: “I mentioned before that the information we were given was that he was probably going to be out for the remainder of the season. But he has responded so well.

“He has gone away and had further scans, and he is out on the pitch and you would think he has never been away.

“I don’t think he will be fit for this weekend but he will finish off his rehab beginning of this week and fingers crossed he will play some part between now and the end of the season, which is fantastic news for us because he has been consistently really, really good for us this season. To have him back and his intensity will be a fantastic boost for us.

“I was speaking to Tim (Williamson), the head of our medical team, earlier and he said in his time here that he never fails to amaze him in terms of his recovery and just his overall physicality.

“He is getting nothing from the tendon issue that he felt after the game, which is great news.

“There are still a few more steps to go through but that will be great news for us. Having him back would create a really strong squad for us.”

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