Kayal will need two or three months to recover from his broken wrist
Celtic have been dealt a hammer blow with the news that influential midfielder Beram Kayal will miss the rest of the season through injury.
The Israeli international has been a revelation since moving from Maccabi Haifa last summer.
But Kayal suffered a fractured wrist in the second-half of Celtic's shock 3-2 defeat by Inverness on Wednesday.
Celtic's loss leaves Rangers one point clear at the top of the table and in pole position in the league title race.
Kayal's injury occurred when he collided with Caley defender Ross Tokely.
The club confirmed the midfielder requires surgery and will need two to three months of rehabilitation, ruling him out of the three remaining league games against Kilmarnock, Hearts and Motherwell, as well as the Scottish Cup final against the Fir Park side.
Kayal, 23, struggled with injury early on in his debut season in Scotland but his return to the side coincided with an excellent run of form for Neil Lennon's team.
Lennon also recently lost Joe Ledley from his midfield options, with the Welshman sidelined for the remainder of the campaign by a hamstring injury.
Wednesday's reverse at the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium
, Celtic are looking for other teams to take points off Rangers in the run-in if they are to regain the Scottish Premier League crown.