Lennon: We will protect Brown

PA Sport
Neil Lennon, pictured, insists Celtic will not put Scott Brown at risk
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Neil Lennon, pictured, insists Celtic will not put Scott Brown at risk

Neil Lennon insists Celtic will not jeopardise Scott Brown's career despite admitting the Hoops skipper has to take an injection before every game to overcome an on-going hip problem which shows no signs of improving.

Brown, 27, has been used sparingly this season, mostly in European ties, and his Scotland comeback in the 2014 World Cup qualifier against Wales last week - after missing the home double-header against Serbia and Macedonia last month - ended at half-time in Cardiff when he could no longer continue.

The former Hibernian midfielder was unable to recover for the 2-0 defeat by Belgium in Brussels on Tuesday night and is unlikely to feature in Saturday's Clydesdale Bank Premier League game against St Mirren in Paisley.

The Parkhead boss is hoping to have Brown available for next week's Champions League clash with Barcelona in the Nou Camp but asked if there could be any concerns about the player in the long-term, he replied: "That would be a decision for the medical team.

"If they were to feel it is a long-term problem then they would shut him down automatically. We would not put his career or his future in jeopardy at all.

"But the medical team seem to think he can cope with this at the minute.

"He gets rest and recovery in between games. He gets treatment, an injection before games and plays.

"For me, Scott is playing the best football of his career. It is just unfortunate that he has a significant problem.

"Speaking to the medical team, the only solution is a concerted period of rest. But he wanted to play for Scotland and we won't stand in his way of that but he was feeling sore even in the warm-up. He got through the first-half and from where I was watching he looked pretty comfortable but obviously he was in a bit of distress and had to come off at half-time which isn't like him.

"The majority of games he comes through unscathed but the days after the game are a huge problem for him in terms of discomfort and pain."

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