Hooper out for 'a few weeks'

Striker sidelined due to sprained ankle

Last Updated: 15/08/11 9:42pm

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Hooper: Suffered the injury against Dundee United

Hooper: Suffered the injury against Dundee United

Sky Bet

Celtic have been dealt a blow ahead of Thursday's Europa League clash against Sion after Gary Hooper was ruled out for 'a few weeks'.

The striker suffered a sprained ankle during Saturday's 5-1 Scottish Premier League win over Dundee United, having earlier found the back of the net for the Hoops.

He now faces a spell on the sidelines following a scan earlier on Monday, meaning he will miss this week's play-off first leg against the Swiss outfit at Celtic Park.

A statement on the club's official website confirmed on Monday: "Following a scan today, the club can confirm that Gary Hooper has a sprained ankle and could potentially be out for a few weeks.

"The striker was injured during Saturday's 5-1 SPL victory over Dundee United at Celtic Park. And he'll miss the Hoops' Europa League play-off against FC Sion this Thursday."

Benefits

Meanwhile, Celtic will be the only Scottish participants in the new NextGen Series, an international football tournament which will showcase the stars of the future across 16 of the world's top football clubs.

The objective of the NextGen series is to deliver a tournament for the 'best of the best' to provide players with vital experience of travelling abroad to play matches and in terms of being challenged by new styles of play.

Celtic have been drawn to play against Barcelona, Manchester City and Marseille in the first group stage.

Celtic manager Neil Lennon said: "We're very pleased to be involved in the NextGen Series. We believe it is a tournament which will give our young players the perfect opportunity to develop.

"Playing in such a competitive environment against players from the best clubs across Europe can only be an excellent experience and I am sure it is something which can only bring real benefits to our players and to the club."

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