Brown boost for Scotland as Celtic midfielder winning fitness battle
21:26 GMT, 21 September 2012
Fitness boost: Celtic captain Scott Brown
Neil Lennon has handed Scotland a World Cup boost by revealing there is every chance Scott Brown will be available for next month's double header with Wales and Belgium.
The Celtic captain had to sit out the home draws with Serbia and Macedonia due to a degenerative hip injury.
But he returned to action for his
club at Perth last Saturday and played a starring role in the stalemate
with Benfica on Wednesday.
Brown showed no obvious reaction to the Champions League clash and is in contention to play against Dundee.
Lennon will take soundings from
Brown and assess him on a game-by-game basis in the coming weeks but,
acutely aware of his potential importance in the forthcoming
internationals, he feels sure the player will be ready to return to the
'He will want to play and, all being well, we will rest him in some of the games,' said Lennon.
'I would imagine if he can get
through Saturday, he won't be involved on Tuesday (against Raith Rovers
in the Scottish Communities League Cup.
'He came through St Johnstone well and he surprised me on Wednesday as I thought he might feel the after-effects. We will look at the programme of games coming up and try to give him the chance to play for us and be OK for the Scottish game as well.
'I wanted him to play against Serbia and Macedonia and he wanted to as well, but it was just impossible the way he was feeling after Helsingborgs. Maybe the amount of games we played in pre-season and at the start of the season took its toll. But we have given him a break and he feels OK.'
Lennon is hopeful the bulk of his injuries will clear up for the trip to play Spartak Moscow in a fortnight. Anthony Stokes was expected to shake off an ankle injury in as little as 12 weeks but has not recovered as swiftly as hoped.
'We're looking at late November-December and that's when the Champions League group ends,' said Lennon.