The central midfielder was given the nod to start today’s semi-final against his former side at Hampden but was carried off on a stretcher before half-time after suffering a nasty knock following a challenge from Dominic Ball.
Ball was shown a second yellow card for the incident by ref Craig Thomson after mistiming his jump for an aerial ball – and colliding with Christie’s face, rather than the ball.
Christie required several minutes on the pitch and was eventually carried off on a stretcher with a suspected broken cheekbone and/or eye socket, but his manager has revealed the layoff may not be as bad as first feared.
Speaking to the media after the full-time whistle, via the Sun, Lennon explained: “Obviously there will be a lot of talk about the sending-off but for me it was a second yellow. It’s a real bad one.
“I don’t think there is any real intent from Dominic to hurt Ryan but he is late in the challenge.
“Unfortunately we have lost Ryan to what could be a very bad injury. He was conscious at half-time. We are not sure if it’s a broken eye socket or a fractured cheekbone.
“According to the medical team, we are hopeful he will be fit for the final when it comes around.
“We are looking at maybe three or four weeks out.
“Both myself and Derek heard the crack, it was a hell of a challenge. But again I apportion no blame to Dominic, there was no intent.”
Hearts will be Celtic’s opponents in the final at the national stadium on May 25, but do you think Christie will be involved?
And if he doesn’t recover in time, how big a blow could that be to Celtic’s hopes?
Let us know in the comments section below…