Oh Bhoy! Scott Brown's ankle woe has Celtic in mess

Scott Brown

Niggle: Scott Brown has an ankle problem

Tony Mowbray will send Scott Brown to see a specialist due to concerns over his injured ankle, which flared up during Scotland’s World Cup double-header.

The Celtic manager is deeply worried about Brown’s well-being and wants clarity after the all-action midfielder underwent surgery on the problem in May.

Mowbray fears medical experts will prescribe rest but would prefer to do that than keep playing Brown and risking further damage to his ankle.

The player completed 90 minutes against Holland in midweek, despite sustaining another blow to the joint early in last Saturday’s 2-0 victory over Macedonia.

Mowbray, named Clydesdale Bank Manager of the Month for August, may rest the 24-year-old for Dundee United’s visit to Parkhead today or wait until October, when there is a fortnight’s SPL break because of international commitments, including Scotland’s friendly in Japan.

With striker Marco Fortune ruled out for six to eight weeks with knee-ligament damage, Brown is a major concern for Celtic ahead of a hectic league programme that features the first Old Firm derby and the start of the Europa League campaign away to Hapoel Tel-Aviv on Thursday.

‘I think Scott will need to see a specialist again about his ankle, just to give us all some peace of mind,’ said Mowbray.

‘We need to have some clarification on what the problem is and if it will drag on too long. By his very nature, Scott wants to play in every game and not miss even a single training session. But I have a responsibility to the boy and to the club. I have to make sure the current plight of his ankle is managed properly.

‘If that means he needs to take a rest somewhere down the line, then so be it. That might be the advice we get and we would need to look for the right time. We have to get the balance right because we need him firing on all cylinders for us in March when, hopefully, we are fighting for trophies.

‘A specialist will take a look and we will have some scans done. Does he need rest or is there something else we can do to help him? ‘He had an operation in May. I want to be sure he is not doing himself any further damage by carrying on.’

Tony Mowbray

Celtic boss Tony Mowbray is facing a forward shortage due to injuries

Sunderland goalkeeper Craig Gordon missed out for Scotland in midweek after he was injured against Macedonia and the Premier League club are believed to have been anxious to make sure he wasn’t risked against Holland.

Mowbray understood why Scotland coach George Burley wanted Brown to face the Dutch but couldn’t help watching on anxiously.


‘Scott doesn’t want to stop — he always wants to play,’ added Mowbray.

‘But I must get the best out of a player and, if he is not 100 per cent, I would rather have him giving everything for some of the season than playing at 75-per-cent fit for the whole of it.

‘I watched the Holland game wondering if Scott was running freely and how much strapping he had on his ankle. I understand he wanted to play and that George also wanted his best team out there fighting for World Cup qualification.

‘So I didn’t sit there cursing. I accept it, but all managers are selfish and you want your own players to come through unscathed. Barry Robson is bursting to play again. He tells me he is ready and we have some options.

‘Sooner or later, we will put him back in and then, after that game, we will know if he really was ready.’

Robson, who played for a Celtic XI in Cork in midweek, could be involved today, as Aiden McGeady is banned following his recent red card against Hibs.

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