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BROONY STEPS UP FITNESS FIGHT

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SCOTT BROWN is battling to keep his ever-present record in the Premiership this season as he tries to recover from the injury he sustained in Thursday’s 1-1 Europa League draw against FC Copenhagen.

Celtic’s influential skipper limped off in the Danish capital with a calf strain and is a major doubt for the game against Kilmarnock at Parkhead tomorrow afternoon, as CQN reported yesterday.

Thirty-four-year-old Brown, who made way for Nir Bitton in the 73rd minute against the Danes, is being examined by the medical staff over the damage and Neil Lennon told the Daily Record: “He felt something in his calf when he stretched.

“It’s not like him to come off. He will be assessed and then we’ll know more. We don’t want any more injuries to key players. I’ll have to wait and see.”

Lennon will give Brown until the last possible moment to prove his fitness and Callum McGregor is waiting to take over the armband for a game the Hoops must win to maintain their 10-point advantage at the top of the league with nine in a row on the radar.

Celtic will go into the match while their nearest challengers – Steven Gerrard’s Ibrox outfit – are still in action against St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park which has a 1.30pm kick-off.

The Hoops, though, will be concentrating on their own task against a team they have already beaten twice 3-1, home and away, in this campaign.

Lennon warned his troops to be careful of a backlash from a side bitterly disappointed at their 4-3 Scottish Cup exit against Aberdeen during the week and he added: “It’s a game against difficult opponents who probably had a bitterly disappointing night in midweek, but Alex Dyer has them playing pretty well.

“They scored goals in midweek and they obviously beat Rangers. They are tough opposition and we will have to be very wary of them.”

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