Celtic have confirmed Dedryck Boyata is likely to miss three months of action with a knee injury, ruling the centre-back out of their Champions League qualifiers.
The Scottish Premiership champions are due to get their European campaign underway with the first leg of their second-round qualifier against Linfield of Northern Ireland on July 14.
Boyata will be unavailable for those matches and will also be out for the third round and play-offs should Celtic make it through, but assistant coach Chris Davies backed the defender to bounce back.
"Unfortunately for Dedryck he picked up a knee injury the other night and it looks like he is going out to be out for a few months with a medial knee ligament injury," said Davies.
"It was almost like a blocked pass. He dragged the ball back and as he has gone to pass it he has jarred the knee and that has obviously affected the ligaments.
Dedyrck Boyata injury update July 7, 2017
"It's really disappointing for Dedryck. He did really well for us for the last six months of last season and was in good form, also getting an international call-up [with Belgium]. We are all disappointed for him, but no doubt he will do the work he has to do in rehab and come back even stronger and better.
"It looks like a bad knee injury. The timeline that the medical team are looking at is up to three months but we are always optimistic and we will see what we can do. It's unfortunate for him, but we have players who can play in that position and we will support him in his rehab."
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