Watch the innocuous looking challenge that has ended Celtic’s Jonny Hayes season

Celtic and Ireland 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 Boxing Day.

The 30-year-old 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.

- Press Association and Digital desk


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