Celtic woe as Maloney ruled out for four monthsDecember 17, 2010 « Redknapp unfazed by players' night out | ESPN FA Cup Promo »
Celtic have suffered a huge blow to their title chances after losing Shaun Maloney for up to four months.
Manager Neil Lennon has confirmed that the forward has undergone ankle surgery as well as revealing defender Glenn Loovens will be missing for a month with a medial knee ligament injury.
Maloney suffered the injury in the early stages of Celtic's 2-2 draw against Inverness on November 27, when he had a close-range shot smothered by Ryan Esson, limping off moments later.
"He had surgery on Monday," Lennon said. "It was a simple procedure but he will be out for a length of time. We are looking between three and four months. It's a huge blow for us and obviously a huge blow for the player."
The injury is the latest in a long line to hit Maloney, who had been wearing the Celtic armband while Scott Brown recovers from a broken metatarsal.
The 27-year-old did not play after October last season after being struck by a tendonitis problem in his ankle before suffering a number of niggling injuries.
The Scotland international also missed four months of the previous season with a persistent hamstring problem.
Lennon added: "He was starting to show his best form this season. He had a horrendous run of injuries in the previous season.
"It is frustrating obviously because he worked very, very hard to get back to full fitness when he has been out.
"This is not a soft tissue injury, it is a trauma that he picked up against Inverness. It was early in the game as well and on conclusion it was decided that surgery was required."
Loovens has not featured since the Scottish League Cup victory over St Johnstone in October after paying the price for some defensive errors. Lennon revealed the Dutchman would be missing for a month with an injury picked up in training.