Celtic midfielder Shaun Maloney is out of the crucial Old Firm clash at Ibrox on December 27 after suffering a hamstring injury during the 1-1 draw with Hearts at Parkhead.
The champions were trailing to an Andrew Driver goal when Maloney limped off to be replaced by Georgios Samaras, who set up Stephen McManus' late equaliser which maintains Celtic's four-point lead over rivals Rangers at the top of the Clydesdale Bank Premier League.
Celtic manager Gordon Strachan seemed resigned to seeing the former Aston Villa player on the sidelines well into the New Year. He said: "He just pulled up. It's a hamstring and not very good,"
The Hoops boss was unimpressed by his side's efforts especially in the first half, although glad to have escaped a game with their lead over Rangers intact.
"It was a poor first half by us, one of the worst performances for a long, long time," he said.
"Hearts did well and were physically strong but we were too predictable.
"We built ourselves up to average in the second half and had a lot of possession around their box so it was far more exciting.
"But we had to grind something out so they did well the drag themselves back from such a poor first half performance and give the crowd hope in the second half."
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