Arsenal full-back Kieran Tierney has admitted that the number of games he played for both Celtic and Scotland caused the injury issues he's faced over recent months.
The defender, who starred in Arsenal's Europa League win over Standard Liege on Thursday, has pulled out of Scotland's European Championship qualifiers against Russia and San Marino but believes the decision will pay dividends in the long run.
Speaking to the Daily Record he said: “What I’m doing isn’t against Scotland, it’s for the future of my Scotland career.
“I need to help my body and make sure I am in the best place for the next camp - that’s what it’s all about.
“I understand it, Arsenal understand it and Scotland understand it.
“The reason I got the injury was playing too many games in the first place, so if I just jump straight back into playing three or four games in 10 days it’s a lot for me.
“It’s about managing things, it’s the kind of injury that needs managed, so it’s the right decision.”
Tierney is yet to play for Unai Emery's side in the Premier League as he works on a staged return to competitive action, but the full-back admits he's happy to ease himself back.
He said: “I have been in pain playing since November or December, tried to get a proper recovery for a few months and then played through it.
“I then had an operation and have eventually recovered.
“It has been a long time since I played ninety minutes pain free, so to play on Thursday night and then again on Sunday then another two games with the national team it’s a lot.
“When you are coming back from injury like I am you have to phase yourself back and take it step by step.”