Celtic defender Jozo Simunovic will be out until next year following a clean-up of his knee, manager Neil Lennon has confirmed.

The 25-year-old centre-half has been out of action since the Scottish champions’ 2-0 victory over AIK on 22 August.

“You are probably looking at three to four months,” sad Lennon.

“It is a blow for us and the player. He felt it was a necessity and thankfully it is not a micro-fracture again.”

Lennon said earlier this week Simunovic faced time out on the sidelines, with the Celtic boss hoping the time out would be restricted to weeks rather than months.

“He knows what to do for his rehab and we are just discussing maybe if he can go away for a few weeks and do his rehab at home,” Lennon said on Friday ahead of Saturday’s Scottish Premiership match with Hibernian.

“He has had a clean-up and obviously we have to tread carefully on his rehab – the sooner we get him back the better.”