• Kyodo

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Celtic playmaker Shunsuke Nakamura will have a hernia operation and is expected to miss the start of the new Scottish Premier League season, according to an online report Wednesday in Glasgow’s Evening Times.

The Japan international is expected to be sidelined for three weeks, and Celtic is hoping he may only have to miss one game — the Hoops’ SPL opener against St Mirren on Aug. 10.

The report said Nakamura will fly to Germany on Tuesday to undergo surgery at the same German clinic where teammate Darren O’Dea was treated for a similar condition toward the end of last season.

“I’ve had pain from my groin, an ankle and a calf since the end of last season,” Nakamura was quoted as saying. “But the calf and ankle have been getting better in recent weeks. While I was playing for Japan, I took pain-relieving medicine. But it got worse.”

Nakamura’s compatriot and teammate Koki Mizuno is also going under the knife next week for surgery on a cartilage problem, the report said.

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