Celtic captain Scott Brown is set to pull out of Scotland’s matches against Italy and France after revealing he has brought his club season to a premature end because of injury.
The midfielder, who will be 31 next month, has been playing for Celtic over the past month despite problems with both of his hamstrings.
After leading the Scottish champions to the 3-1 victory over Hearts at Tynecastle on Saturday which effectively secured their fifth consecutive title, Brown will now sit out Celtic’s remaining three Premiership fixtures.
As he looks for rest and recovery, the Scotland captain will also speak to national team boss Gordon Strachan about missing the friendlies against Italy in Malta on 29 May and France in Metz on 4 June.
“I need to go and speak to Gordon,” said Brown. “I don’t know what will happen about that. I think that’s me done and dusted now for the season. I need to close down for a few weeks and just concentrate on my fitness.
“I’ve been struggling to get around the pitch in the past few weeks, I’ve just been sitting in front of the back four. You could see I wasn’t moving very well in the last few minutes against Hearts before I came off. People play through injuries but I’ve got tendonitis in both hamstrings and I just need to chill, settle and go and enjoy my summer.”
Brown, meanwhile, has launched a withering verbal attack on former Celtic striker Andy Walker.
Now a Sky Sports pundit, Walker has been a consistent critic of the team’s often poor performances and results under outgoing manager Ronny Deila this season.
“Andy Walker does my box in,” said Brown. “He’s never had a manager’s job or knows what it’s like. He is pretty much just a poor man’s Gary Neville.
“It’s easy for him [Walker], sitting up there saying things like that. But then he walks out the tunnel after games and doesn’t look anyone in the eye, just puts his head down. He obviously knows he’s done something wrong.
“He didn’t win that much at Celtic. Sometimes you’ve got to take
it on the chin, but maybe he is just jealous.”