By Alex Stevens

Jozo Simunovic has been ruled out for the rest of the season in a major blow to Celtic, according to The Scottish Sun.

The £5million Croatian defender is said to have undergone a knee operation in London on Wednesday and is not expected to play a part in the Scottish champions’ title run-in.

This new setback is a major blow for Celtic manager Ronny Deila, who wanted Simunovic back for the final matches of the campaign as the Scottish champions target a league and cup double.

The 21-year-old hasn’t featured since January after it emerged he had been playing for six weeks with a broken bone in his knee.

Celtic hoped he would be back by early April and the Croatian started light running at Lennoxtown earlier this month.

It is reported that Simunovic abandoned his comeback bid due to some discomfort and club medical staff decided he should go under the knife in a bid to get fit for next season.

This has ruled him out of Celtic’s last eight league games and the Scottish Cup semi-final against Rangers.

Simunovic’s latest setback caps a disappointing debut season at Parkhead for the highly-rated Croatia Under-21 international

He was signed from Dinamo Zagreb for a fee rising to £5million but has made just 17 appearances in an injury-plagued campaign.