Celtic captain Scott Brown is an injury doubt for the club’s must-win Europa League tie against Ajax at Parkhead.
The 30-year-old limped off the pitch at the end of the champions’ goalless draw at home to Kilmarnock on Saturday and is now facing a race to be available for the meeting with the Eredivisie leaders, who thrashed Cambuur 5-1 in Amsterdam on Saturday.
Brown returned to the starting 11 against Killie following a month on the sidelines. He had been forced to pull out of the League Cup quarter-final against Hearts at Tynecastle on 25 October after suffering a knee injury during the pre-match warm-up.
Brown had been the victim of several over-zealous challenges by opponents at the weekend (Josh Magennis was cautioned for a foul on the midfielder) but Kilmarnock manager Gary Locke denied that he had been singled out for rough treatment. “He’s a very influential player for them and it might look as if we were out to kick him,” Locke said.
“That certainly wasn’t the case. We wanted the boys to compete, because if you come here and sit off them they can hurt you.”
However, Brown’s problem arose due to him committing a foul on Kilmarnock winger Tope Obadeyi towards the ends of the contest.
“I took one for the team,” he said. “I am a wee bit tender but I am getting there. We will see how it is over the next couple of days. It was one of those last-minute tackles which I had to make otherwise he would have been through one-on-one with [goalkeeper] Craig Gordon.
“So I made the tackle and I fell awkwardly on my knee. I hope I will be okay. It is a huge game for the club and it’s one I don’t want to miss.”
Celtic are stuck at the foot of Europa League Group A, having taken two points from their opening four fixtures. Indeed, they have failed to win any of their last nine matches in the competition proper. Yet they could progress to the knock-out phase of the tournament if they beat Ajax at home and Fenerbahce in Istanbul next month.