Lennon waits on Brown and Forrest

Lennon waits on Brown and Forrest

Neil Lennon will give skipper Scott Brown and winger James Forrest every chance to make the second leg of Celtic’s Champions League third qualifying round against HJK Helsinki in Finland tomorrow night.

The Scottish champions are looking to defend their 2-1 lead from the first game at Parkhead last week.

Brown’s hip injury kept him out of the 1-0 Clydesdale Bank Premier League win over Aberdeen at the weekend.

Forrest also missed the league’s curtain raiser and is battling to recover from a groin injury.

Forward Georgios Samaras has shrugged off the effects of a face injury sustained against the Dons while defender Charlie Mulgrew returns from suspension.

At the press conference in Helsinki, the Celtic boss was confident of Brown making it but said: “Georgios will be fine. We will see how James and Scott are this evening.

“They are still a little bit stiff and sore.

“We are giving them as much time as we can, and maybe even give them until tomorrow afternoon.

“I think there has been a significant improvement in both of them over the last couple of days.

“Having spoken to the medical team, yes (Brown’s chances are good). Scott likes to play even when he is not 100%.

“He is such an important player for us but because it is such an important game, we can’t take too many chances.

“And it is still so early in the season as well. We don’t want to lose him if we push him too hard, too early.”

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