Republic of Ireland winger Jonny Hayes is unlikely to play again this season after it was confirmed he broke a leg in Celtic's 2-0 win at Dundee on St Stephen's Day.

The 30-year-old was carried from the field on a stretcher in the first half following a challenge by home defender Josh Meekings, who also had to be replaced in the Ladbrokes Premiership encounter.

A statement on Celtic's website on Wednesday evening revealed Hayes has had an operation.

It read: "Celtic Football Club has to report that, regrettably, Jonny Hayes suffered a broken leg during the game against Dundee at Dens Park yesterday.

"Jonny had surgery today and will now be out for some time as he begins the long road back to full fitness.

"He will make a full recovery but he's unlikely to feature again this season.

"He will receive the best care and attention throughout the months ahead, while the thoughts and best wishes of everyone at Celtic and, indeed, the whole Celtic family, are with Jonny."

It is a devastating blow for the player, who had recently got a run of games under his belt following his move from Aberdeen in the summer, scoring his first goal for the club in the 3-0 home win against the Dons on Saturday.

Manager Brendan Rodgers, with a Europa League tie against Russian side Zenit St Petersburg in February to look forward to, may move to bring in another winger when the January transfer window opens.

On-loan wide player Patrick Roberts returned to Manchester City for treatment on a hamstring injury earlier in December and it was reported that he could be out for three months.

Rodgers had no problem about Meekings' tackle and had hoped his player had only suffered bruising.

"There was nothing in it," said the former Swansea and Liverpool boss after the Dens Park encounter.

Meanwhile James Forrest wants the Bhoys to end a great year and a fruitful first half of the season with a Glasgow derby triumph over Rangers on Saturday.

The champions are 11 points clear of Aberdeen at the top of the table albeit the Dons have a game in hand against Partick Thistle on Wednesday night.

Rodgers' treble-winning side of last season have the Betfred Cup back in the trophy room and a Europa League tie against Zenit St Petersburg to look forward to in February.

And since losing 4-0 to Hearts at Tynecastle to end their 69-game unbeaten domestic run, Celtic have taken nine points from nine without conceding a goal, with the 26-year-old Scotland winger scoring his 12th goal of the season in a 2-0 win over Dundee at Dens Park on Boxing Day.

The visit of the Light Blues will be the Parkhead side's ninth game in December and Forrest is looking for victory against their city rivals at Celtic Park before the top flight closes for the winter break.

He said: "It's been a great first half to the season. We've hit all our goals so far, so to finish it off on Saturday with a win would be really good.

"We're still in Europe after Christmas so that's a big boost for us when we come back.

"But we've got one last big push and we'll give it our all. When we're at our best it's hard for anyone who plays us.

"We just need to start well and work hard and we're ready to do that."