Socceroos sensation Arzani set to miss Asian Cup
SOCCEROOS young gun Daniel Arzani appears likely to miss January's Asian Cup amid reports he suffered a serious knee injury in his long-awaited debut for Celtic.
In a massive blow for the exciting 19-year-old and the Australian national team, Arzani was stretchered off just 20 minutes into his cameo appearance in a Scottish premiership clash with Dundee on Thursday morning (AEST).
And while Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers was initially positive post-match - saying "it didn't appear so bad" - the Daily Telegraph's Tom Smithies reported club medical staff fear Arzani has torn his anterior cruciate ligament.
Such an injury would keep Manchester City signing Arzani out for up to nine months in a devastating blow so early in his European and national team career.
The 19-year-old was brought on as a 56th minute substitute against Dundee, as he was finally afforded an opportunity to make an impact for the first team.
Arzani joined the Celts on a two-year loan deal from City at the beginning of the season, with coach Brendan Rodgers appearing hesitant to throw him in at senior level.
But after a bright start, he was stretchered off after going down off the ball. He had attempted to shift direction quickly and immediately went to ground clutching his knee.
Arzani stood up and attempted to get moving before immediately slumping over onto the turf - the stretcher was then brought out to help him off the ground.
Rodgers appeared to play down the severity of the injury after the game, with scans still needed to confirm just how bad it is.
"He's [Arzani] a talented boy, just a bit adapting really to our style of football and to our game and he's settled in very very well," Rodgers.
"Just building up his confidence to come and play, just a bit unfortunate he had to go off. He certainly is happy to take the ball, he has confidence, he's a Celtic player in terms of, he wants to beat people and wants to be aggressive. So it was nice for him and Lewis Morgan to come into the game. Unfortunately he got injured so we'll have to see how that is.
"Probably the only guy that's been able to get on his side and applaud the support. He's a really really good kid, he's a super bright boy, he wants to do well for Celtic and we'll just have to see tomorrow he's probably going to need a scan on his knee."
Eearlier, Aussie teammate Tom Rogic opened the scoring with a curling stunner from the edge of the box to celebrate his milestone 150th match for the Bhoys in style.