Brown outuntil start of 2005

HIBERNIAN striker Scott Brown received a crushing blow yesterday with the news that he will be sidelined for up to four months. The Scotland Under-21 international was carried off in the 2-2 draw with Celtic two weeks ago and results of hospital scans revealed extensive ankle ligament damage.

Brown will now be out until at least January 2005 and Hibs manager Tony Mowbray said: "It’s a blow to Scott and for us that he will be out for so long, but we’ll just have to get on with it. Knowing his attitude, he’ll be back as soon as possible.

"It is important not to rush him. He has been doing very well for us since the start of the season and hopefully we have managed to curb some of the reported over-enthusiasm he had last year. It is a big loss."

Mowbray, who is also missing Gary Smith, Steven Notman, Sam Morrow, Kevin Nicol, Jonathan Baillie and Kevin Thomson for today’s trip to Dunfermline, hopes Brown can still use the lay-off time to develop as a player. "He’ll come to terms with his injury and, hopefully, he’ll use his time out of the game to become a better footballer," added the Hibs manager. "If he wants, I’ll take him to Celtic Park to watch Champions League games as part of his education."