"I wanted to play in Milan on Tuesday night, but of course I could not," Nakamura told the Japanese media. "It was not a great game but it was a great night for Celtic because we made the knockout stages for the second year in succession.

"I have to rest and have treatment at the moment, that's all I can do. But I'm looking forward to the last-16 games in the New Year."

Nakamura, 29, should certainly be fit by then as he continues intensive treatment. The nerves and ligaments in his left knee have been subjected to extensive demands over a two-year period, due to a hectic series of games for club and country.

No surgery is required, it seems, and Nakamura will not return to Japan for a break over the festive period. His rehabilitation is focused in Glasgow and at Celtic's training centre in Lennoxtown as Strachan contends with the absence of last season's Player of the Year.