BRENDAN Rodgers has revealed that Kyogo Furuhashi will not play for Japan during the international break as a result of the “nasty” head injury he suffered in Celtic’s win over Aberdeen.

Furuhashi, who scored his side’s second goal in their emphatic 6-0 cinch Premiership victory at Parkhead, was replaced in the second half following a physical challenge by Slobodan Rubezic.

The 28-year-old, who took his tally for the 2023/24 campaign to nine with his early strike, required several minutes of medical attention on the turf before he was replaced by Oh Hyeon-gyu.

Rodgers - whose team restored their eight point lead over Rangers, who have a game in hand, at the top of the league table – is hopeful the knock is not too serious.

However, the Northern Irishman confirmed the 21-times capped striker will not be taking part in his national ream’s World Cup qualifiers against Myanmar at home and Syria away in the coming fortnight.  

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Asked for an update on Furuhashi and Yang Hyun-jun, who was replaced by James Forrest in the second half after suffering a facial injury, Rodgers said: “They’re fine.

“I think it looked a nasty one, Kyogo’s one. So he’ll stay behind, he won’t travel to Japan. He will be fine in a few days’ time I’m sure. Yang likewise. He came in at the back post and just got a bang in the left eye, but he is okay.”

“I haven’t seen it (the foul on Furuhashi) back. It is obviously one of those nasty ones, the defender is coming right through. If you are facing into it . . . But, listen, they have had a look at it the officials so you have to respect that.

“He will be staying behind now. He was due to travel but we will keep him behind now and the medical team will look after him over the next week.”

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Meanwhile, Rodgers lavished praise on his players for the impressive fashion in which they bounced back from their 6-0 mauling at the hands of Atletico Madrid in a Champions League game in Spain on Tuesday night.

“I said to the players before the game, throughout your footballing season and life you have painful points, but it is how you respond is where you are judged,” he said.

“I think if you look after St Johnstone here we go to Rangers and win, after Feyenoord away we go to Livingston and win. Obviously we had a challenging game in midweek just because of the circumstance. It is then how you respond today. I thought the players responded so so well.

“They done great in the game, created numerous opportunities. Look at Aberdeen’s record, especially away from home. Look at how tough they are to beat. They go to Frankfurt and do well, they go to Rangers and win. So they are a team who are tough to play against.

“But I thought our players today were absolutely fantastic. They showed some great football, great movement, great connection in the team. I was so pleased for them.”

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Norwegian midfielder Odin Thiago Holm, who was given a start as Paulo Bernardo was rested, was replaced by David Turnbull early in the second half.

Rodgers said: “To be a Celtic player, you need to be talented of course. But you need mental strength, you have to be robust in your mentality. That’s the number one factor for me.

“It’s like with Odin. We gave him a start and he needs to do more. We said it at half time that if you don’t start then you come off, because there is always someone to take your place. So being mentally strong is important.

“These players have that. This group, you see it in them. They will work hard, they will listen, they will learn, and they build up that robustness. I am very pleased for them.”