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Celtic's Hatem Abd Elhamed self-isolating awaiting coronavirus test after feeling ill

Celtic have been hit with more potential coronavirus disruption among their international players after Hatem Abd Elhamed was put into provisional self-isolation.

The Israel defender felt unwell after playing in his country’s 2-1 defeat by the Czech Republic in Scotland’s Nations League group on Sunday night.

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An Israeli Football Association spokesperson told the PA News agency: “Hatem didn’t fell well after the match. He was isolated from the team and did a test this morning (Monday).”

The results of the Covid-19 test are expected later on Monday.

Elhamed’s club and international team-mate, Nir Bitton, tested positive on Friday after playing for Israel against Scotland the previous night.

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Celtic striker Odsonne Edouard earlier tested positive while away with France U21s while Ryan Christie was instructed to self-isolate after being deemed to be a contact of former Hoops team-mate Stuart Armstrong while on Scotland duty.

Bitton and Christie will miss Celtic’s Scottish Premiership clash with Rangers while Edouard’s period of self-isolation could make it difficult for him to be ready for Saturday’s game.

Manager Neil Lennon now faces being without Elhamed as well on top of other injury worries.

Centre-back Christopher Jullien has not played for a month because of a back problem while striker Albian Ajeti missed their previous game against St Johnstone with a hamstring injury, but is expected to make the derby clash.

Celtic expressed major concern and frustration over the Covid-19 disruption before Elhamed felt unwell, having not recorded a single positive case when testing their players themselves.

A club statement on Saturday read: “While we apportion no blame whatsoever to anyone, this is now a very difficult position for us and, clearly, for all other clubs.

“Like all other clubs, we must do all we can to protect our squad and limit the very clear and obvious risks to players.

“Under FIFA regulations, clubs are obliged to release players for international duty.

“We will be maintaining close contact with international associations in order to ensure everything possible is being done with regards to the care and protection of our players. The priority must be the safety of our players at all times.”

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