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Leg break rules Celtic's Jonny Hayes out for remainder of season

Celtic's Jonny Hayes is stretchered off against Dundee after suffering the injury which was subsequently confirmed as a broken leg
Liam Maguire

CELTIC winger Jonny Hayes is unlikely to play again this season after it was confirmed he broke a leg in the 2-0 win at Dundee on St Stephen's Day.

The 30-year-old Dubliner was carried from the field on a stretcher in the first half following a challenge by home defender Josh Meekings, who also had to be replaced in the Ladbrokes Premiership encounter.

A statement on Celtic's website on Wednesday evening revealed Hayes has had an operation.

It read: "Celtic Football Club has to report that, regrettably, Jonny Hayes suffered a broken leg during the game against Dundee at Dens Park yesterday.

"Jonny had surgery today and will now be out for some time as he begins the long road back to full fitness.

"He will make a full recovery but he's unlikely to feature again this season.

"He will receive the best care and attention throughout the months ahead, while the thoughts and best wishes of everyone at Celtic and, indeed, the whole Celtic family, are with Jonny."

It is a devastating blow for the player, who had recently got a run of games under his belt following his move from Aberdeen in the summer, scoring his first goal for the club in the 3-0 home win against the Dons on Saturday.

Manager Brendan Rodgers, with a Europa League tie against Russian side Zenit St Petersburg in February to look forward to, may move to bring in another winger when the January transfer window opens.

On-loan wide player Patrick Roberts returned to Manchester City for treatment on a hamstring injury earlier in December and it was reported that he could be out for three months.

Rodgers had no problem about Meekings' tackle and had hoped his player had only suffered bruising.

"There was nothing in it," said the former Swansea and Liverpool boss after the Dens Park encounter.

Meanwhile, in Wednesday night's action Hibernian left Tynecastle with a sense of injustice after seeing an early strike from Oli Shaw not given as the Edinburgh derby against Hearts ended goalless.

The visitors thought they had taken the lead on six minutes when a close-range effort from Shaw came back off the underside of the crossbar and looked to have bounced over the line, but was not given by the officials.

Neither side was able to conjure a breakthrough, with Hearts goalkeeper Jon McLaughlin touching the ball away from Paul Hanlon as the Hibs defender looked set to head in a late winner.

Hibs remain in fourth place, five points clear of their city rivals.

Aberdeen closed the gap on leaders Celtic back down to eight points after a 1-0 win over Partick Thistle at Pittodrie.

The Dons, showing three changes from Saturday's defeat at Celtic, had the ball in the net after 26 minutes when Adam Rooney converted following a corner, but the goal was ruled out for a foul.

Rooney, though, did get his goal just after the hour when he slotted in after good work from Ryan Christie, which proved enough for victory over Thistle, who drop to the bottom of the table as a result.

Rangers warmed up for Saturday's Old Firm derby with a 2-0 home win against Motherwell.

Interim manager Graeme Murty had made five changes from the defeat at Kilmarnock, but was forced into a substitution late in the first half when midfielder Ryan Jack was taken off on a stretcher with what looked to be a serious knee injury.

Rangers went ahead five minutes into the second half when defender Danny Wilson, celebrating his 26th birthday, lashed home an angled finish following a corner.

Alfredo Morelos secured the points for the hosts when the striker sprung the offside trap with 14 minutes left.

Relegation-battlers Ross County recovered from conceding an early goal to draw 1-1 against St Johnstone in Dingwall.

The visitors got off to a flying start when on-loan Colchester forward Denny Johnstone headed them in front after just 75 seconds.

After St Johnstone had seen another goal from Steven MacLean ruled out for offside, County equalised in the 54th minute.

Alex Schalk converted from the penalty spot after Chris Eagles had been fouled by Joe Shaughnessy.

Schalk later saw an effort come back off the post and Saints keeper Zander Clark produced some fine saves as County had to make do with a point, which was enough to lift them off the bottom.

Hamilton's match against Kilmarnock at the SuperSeal Stadium was called off at 6.25pm after the artificial pitch was deemed unplayable because of the freezing conditions in Lanarkshire.

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