CELTIC skipper Scott Brown faces three months out of action after scans revealed he has almost torn his hamstring clean off the bone, ruling him out of his club’s Champions League qualifiers later this month and also Scotland’s opening Euro 2016 qualifying group match against Germany.
The 29-year-old former Hibernian midfielder suffered the agonising injury in Sunday’s 1-1 friendly draw with Rapid Vienna and tests carried out in Austria have come back with disappointing news.
The best-case scenario would see Brown miss just eight weeks of action but that would still rule him out of this month’s Champions League second-round
qualifier with KR Reykjavik.
He will also sit out potential third-round and play-off ties should the Scottish champions progress that far. But Celtic manager Ronny Deila admits Brown could be sidelined for as long as three months – ruling him out of the opening two group games.
Brown’s injury is also a major blow for Scotland boss Gordon Strachan. His captain will definitely miss Scotland’s opening Euro 2016 qualifier against World Cup finalists Germany on 7 September and faces a race to be fit for clashes with Georgia and Poland in October.
Deila said: “It’s bad news for Scott. He will be out for two months, maybe three. The hamstring has been almost ripped off. He doesn’t need an operation, which is a positive thing. But it is quite a big injury. It’s hard for him and it’s hard for us. But we can’t do anything about it. We have to try to get him back on the pitch as quick as possible – but we have good midfielders who can step up.”
Meanwhile, in-form Finnish forward Teemu Pukki celebrated his first hat-trick for Celtic and warned: “We must do better.” Pukki was at the very top of his game against Austrian minnows LASK Linz in Celtic’s 5-2 win on Tuesday. However, the former Schalke striker, who also netted in the 1-1 draw against Rapid Vienna on the tour,
insisted there is a lot more to come from the SPFL champions.
The 24-year-old said: “The goals, of course, help my confidence and that is important for any striker. I know I just have to keep going and working hard at my game.
“The real games are coming soon, with KR Reykjavik next week, and I hope to be part of the first team and keep scoring goals. But I think we still have a lot to do to be ready for the European Championship ties and the other games that follow.”
Pukki cost £3 million when former manager Neil Lennon signed him in August last year.