KIERAN TIERNEY is a major fitness worry for Scotland’s Euro 2020 qualifying double-header in June.

The Celtic defender fears he may not be able to cope with the rigours of the home encounter against Cyprus and then the crucial confrontation against Roberto Martinez’s Belgium.

Tierney travelled to Kazakhstan with Alex McLeish’s squad last month before returning early without kicking a ball for his country in the embarrassing 3-0 flop while also missing out on the 2-0 win over San Marino.

The Hoops left-back will require an extended period of rest to clear up the pelvic problem that has disrupted his season since mid-December.

Queried about the recovery timescale, Tierney, speaking to the Mail on Sunday, said: “It will be until I get a proper rest. It will take a few weeks of doing nothing to recover the body fully.

“It is my pubis bone – and it is just through overuse; the intensity of our games and training, the number of games. It has been non-stop for me since I was 17 – it has just caught up.

“But it is nothing too serious. I’m playing, I’m training and I’m getting through it fine.

“After the games, it will feel a bit stiff, but that’s expected. Lots of people who have had it have told me I’ll be fresh when I’ve had a break.

“It’s not just the pubis bone, you need to recover your legs, as well. And, at Celtic, you come straight back into the Champions League qualifiers, so we all need the break.

“For my career, 100 per cent, it would benefit me to rest. But it’s up to Scotland and Celtic to talk about that.

“I’m not here saying I want to pull out. But I do want what’s best for the country and, if I go there and I’m not completely fit, that won’t be the case.

“If I go and I’m ready, then it is what it is. But our physio Tim Williamson does both (Celtic and Scotland) and he will know what’s best for everyone..

“You need to look after yourself and, if I can’t go there 100-per-cent fit, what’s the point?”

Tierney limped off in the recent 2-1 win over Rangers at Parkhead and missed the 2-0 victory over St Mirren with Emilio Izaguirre deputising.

He returned in the goalless draw against Livingston last weekend and is expected to be in his usual position when Neil Lennon’s men take on Aberdeen in the Scottish Cup semi-final at Hampden this afternoon.,


About Author


Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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