KIERAN TIERNEY revealed he feared the worst after the over-the-top lunge by Motherwell’s Ryan Bowman in Celtic’s 2-0 win at the weekend.

The left-back was left scarred after the shocking knee-high challenge that, amazingly, did not warrant a straight red card from referee Don Robertson.

Tierney only returned to the first team for the January Scottish Cup-tie against Albion Rovers after three months on the sidelines with a damaged ankle and a shoulder problem.

But, after being left in a heap on the touchline following Bowman’s reckless charge, the 19-year-old international defender admitted thoughts of another lengthy lay-off flashed into his mind.

Tierney said: “Straight away, I thought something bad had happened. He caught me on the kneecap. It was a horrible challenge.

“It was sore. You kind of know sometimes when you have done something and I thought it was bad.

“He caught me high and my knee is all cut. I feared the worst, but, thankfully, it was okay. I got lucky.

“Having just come back from injury, the last thing I wanted was another one.

“The pitch has a bobble on it, but there are no excuses. It was a bad tackle.”

The match official stunned players and fans alike by merely brandishing a yellow card for the x-certificate tackle and Tierney thought the punishment could have been more severe.

He added: “He just said sorry to me after it. I didn’t say much back.

“I thought straight away it was a red card. If you look at my knee just now, and the fact he caught me with his studs that high, then you’d think it would be.

“But that’s not my decision. Hopefully, the knee should be fine. It is sore, but other than that, it’s fine.”

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