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By ESPN Staff

Celtic defender Hinkel ruled out for nine months

Celtic defender Andreas Hinkel has been ruled out for nine months with an anterior cruciate ligament injury, the club have confirmed.

The German right-back picked up the injury at training on Tuesday and will have to undergo an operation.

Hinkel was not included in Neil Lennon's Europa League squad and would not have played against FC Utrecht in the first leg of their play-off at Parkhead.

A statement on the club's official website read: ''It is with great regret that Celtic Football Club announces that, after an accident in training, Andreas Hinkel has suffered significant injury to his right knee. It has been confirmed after MRI scans as a rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament.

''Andreas will be referred for the appropriate investigation and assessment. He will require surgery and could be out for a period of up to nine months. Clearly this is very sad news for Andreas and he will be receiving every support from the Club.''

Hoops boss Neil Lennon indicated during the summer that recent signing Cha Du-Ri was his first choice right-back and the former Stuttgart player was expected to be sold to free up money to allow further signings to bolster his squad.

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