BRENDAN RODGERS has expressed his frustration at Liel Abada’s long-term injury, saying that it is a scenario that could have been avoided.

Abada picked up a thigh issue while taking part in shooting practice at the end of a training session with his national side, Israel. He was in London yesterday for a scan on the problem, but Rodgers expects he will be sidelined for three or four months.

And the Celtic manager’s annoyance at being deprived of his winger for so long has only been heightened by the fact that it was, in his view, and entirely avoidable injury.

“It is what it is,” Rodgers said.

“There is an opportunity now for someone else to come in.

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“It’s a shame for Liel because he did well over the course of pre-season and looked dangerous.

“He has qualities I like and qualities I think we can improve on. He was confident that he wanted to sign his new deal and continue his development.

“So, to be out with something that you can actually control is the frustrating thing. Control as in, ‘don’t do the shooting exercise at the end of training.’

“I had this before with a young player Suso who plays at Sevilla. When you fly and then you land and go out to training your legs are still full of pressure from flights. So, when you are shooting and doing repetitive exercises that puts strain on them.

“It’s certainly something you can avoid, but young players see a net and they want to hit it.

“It will be a good learning for Liel going forward.”

Rodgers stopped short though of laying blame for the injury at the door of Israel manager Alon Hazon, saying he wouldn’t directly give instructions to national team coaches on how to handle his players.

“I would never tell an international manager how to do his job, but if he wants to speak to me or come into training my door is always open,” he said.

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“I think there is lots of collaboration between sports science and medical teams and confederations. But I would never tell an international manager [what to do] unless he called me.’”

Abada was named in Celtic’s Champions League squad last week, but now cannot be replaced by one of those who missed out despite the group campaign not yet being underway.

“That is the big frustration,” Rodgers added.

“Those were some of the things we had to think of. Marco Tilio would have been perfect to put in there now. But he is only coming back from an injury himself and we had to weigh up that aspect of it.

“The bottom line is that we can’t change it.”