Neil Lennon has accused the Scottish Football Association of endangering the well-being of highly-rated Ryan Porteous by fielding the defender at the Toulon Tournament despite knowing he was injured, writes Alan Temple.
In an astonishing blast at the governing body, Lennon claims a scan showed that Porteous had suffered a slight tear to the cartilage in his knee in the aftermath of their second fixture against France. Boss Scot Gemmill fielded the 20-year-old in subsequent fixtures against South Korea and eventual winners England, but he sat out the third-place playoff against Turkey.
Porteous has subsequently missed the entirety of Hibs’ pre-season preparations and sat out their fixtures against Linlithgow Rose, Berwick Rangers and Blackburn.
He has returned to light training this week but will be unavailable to face NSI Runavik this evening.
Lennon is adamant the SFA failed in their duty of care to the player, and is angry no contact was made with Easter Road regarding Porteous’ situation.
He fumed: “I’m not happy with the way Ryan has been treated and I’m not happy with the way the club has been treated, because I have had no communication from them [S FA].
“I’ve asked for a report from their medical team explaining why he was played in the two games after scans showed that he had a tear in his cartilage. I’ve not even had a courtesy call.
“I’ve not seen him on the training ground since mid-May because of that. I didn’t find any of this out until we came back to training on 18 June. I got nothing from the SFA, not one call or email or anything. You would expect that.
“He’s missed the whole of pre-season and our build up to this game. He may be fit for next week but this is unacceptable in my view.”