Kieran Tierney is set to miss Scotland’s Euro 2020 qualifiers against Cyprus and Belgium in June to rest up ahead of Celtic’s Champions League qualifiers.
The 21-year-old has been dogged by a persistent pubis bone injury this season, caused by wear and tear from his hectic schedule with club and country.
And, while careful body management will allow him to play on for the remainder of the Hoops’ Treble Treble bid, he admits the early-summer internationals are likely to be a bridge too far.
“For my career, 100% it would benefit me to rest, of course it would,” said Tierney.
“It is up to Scotland and Celtic to talk about that.
“I am 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, works for Scotland as well and he’ll know what’s best for everyone.
“You need to look after yourself sometimes as well, and if I can’t go there 100% fit, what’s the point?
“As it stands just now, I’m fine.”
In order to get the rest he needs to be back on June 17 for the start of next year’s build-up to the Champions League qualifiers, though, Tierney will need to take a break after the Scottish Cup Final on May 25 – if the Hoops see off Aberdeen in their Scottish Cup semi-final today.
It’s bad news for Scotland boss Alex McLeish but the player is only being realistic.
“That’s all I’ve got, that timescale,” he said. “So if that happens, that’s what it’ll have to be, and with the right programmes and rest, I’ll be perfect.
“It has just caught up with me. The intensity of our games and training, the number of games.
“It’s been non-stop since I was 17-years-old.
“At the moment, I just need to gauge my way through things.
“It’s the same when most of the guys come through an injury. You need to rest.
“You maybe need more recovery time, less training than the rest of the boys.
“That’s just the way it is. Hopefully I’ll get a proper break in the summer.
“It’s not in my nature to deal with this kind of stuff!
“But it’s nothing too serious.
“I’m playing, I’m training and I’m getting through it fine.
“After games it will feel a bit stiff, but that’s to be expected. However, lots of people who’ve suffered this have told me I’ll be fresh when I’ve had a break.
“But it will take a few weeks of doing nothing to recover the full body.
“It’s not just the pubis, you need to recover your legs as well.
“And, at Celtic, you then come straight back into Champions League qualifiers, so we all need the break.”
Before then there is the small matter of trying to complete the Treble Treble, with Tierney happy to acknowledge the weight of expectation on the holders going into this afternoon’s Cup semi is considerable.
“There is going to be a lot of pressure, especially for me, because I have always been a fan of the club,” Tierney continued.
“That’s a big factor, to be fair. When I’m home, it’s still all Celtic. Everything’s Celtic.
“My dad, my family, my friends – that’s just what it is and that’s how it’s always been. Nothing’s changed for me.
“If this was happening when I was younger, I’d have been exactly the same as a wee guy. I’d have been talking about it all the time.
“However, pressure is nothing new to anyone in our squad. The people in our changing room are amazing at dealing with it.
“It is going to be tough, but the fans, players and staff are in this together and we’re all working towards the same outcome – a Celtic victory.”