Steve Clarke explains absence of Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths from Scotland squad

Leigh Griffiths celebrates after scoring against England.
Leigh Griffiths celebrates after scoring against England.
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"It's too early to push him," was the response of Steve Clarke when asked why Leigh Griffiths was absent from the Scotland squad for the upcoming games against Russia and Belgium.

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The hero of the famous 2-2 draw with England in 2017 has been absent from the national set-up since taking a leave of absence from the game last year to deal with mental health issues.

He returned this summer to the Celtic set up and has played on numerous occasions for the Parkhead side, leading many to believe he would make a return for Scotland.

His national team manager doesn't want to put too much pressure on the player so soon after his return to club football and insists he'll happily welcome him back one he's "fully fit and firing".

"He was close," Clarke said. "Listen, Leigh has got some fantastic attributes. I just look at him just now and he's come a long way in a short space of time after a very difficult spell in his life.

"And I feel we should just give him a little more time to settle into the role again at Celtic and get himself fully fit and firing. And a fully fit and firing, sharp Leigh Griffiths will always be good for us.

"But at the moment I just feel it's a little bit too early to push him."