Filip Benkovic: Celtic defender missing until at least March

Filip Benkovic has made 24 appearances for Celtic this season
Filip Benkovic has made 24 appearances for Celtic this season

Celtic will be without Filip Benkovic until at least March with an ankle problem, says manager Brendan Rodgers.

The on-loan Leicester City man missed the 2-0 Scottish Premiership win over St Johnstone on Wednesday, having been injured at the weekend.

The Croat, 21, will miss at least five league games, the Scottish Cup tie against St Johnstone, and the Europa League last-32 meeting with Valencia.

"Initially he'll be out for around four to five weeks," Rodgers said.

"He will have his ankle in a boot for the next couple of weeks and then we will assess it after four weeks and it will take a week to 10 days to get back into training rhythm again.

"It is disappointing but Jozo Simunovic came in and was excellent tonight, concentrated, alert, defended well, passed it well and when he is like that he is a very good player."

Second-half goals from Callum McGregor and Ryan Christie earned Celtic the win that moved them six points clear at the top of the Scottish Premiership.

Celtic want to 'get some work done'

Rodgers said he expected a "pretty relaxed" transfer deadline day on Thursday but is hopeful that Celtic "can get some work done" before the window closes at midnight.

The Northern Irishman said there would "probably" be some movement both in and out of the club, but that it "won't be overly busy".

After the win over St Johnstone, he confirmed that Maryan Shved is expected to join Celtic from Karpaty Lviv and be loaned back to the Ukrainian club.

And he revealed that "there's been an agreement" over Lewis Morgan's proposed loan to Sunderland, albeit he played down suggestions that Bryan Oviedo would move in the other direction.

"I'm thinking that he'll be on his way there to get a good experience," Rodgers said of 22-year-old winger Morgan, who arrived from St Mirren last summer.

Rodgers also said he had spoken to Ukraine winger Shved, 21, who was present at Wednesday's win.

"It's nice for him to come and watch the team and how we play and how he can fit into it in the future. He's a really good kid and he's a talent," he said.

"He'll go back, finish his season with his team and then rejoin us towards the end of the season."

Maryan Shved
Prospective Celtic signing Maryan Shved took in the match in Glasgow

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