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Monday, November 8, 1999 Published at 15:44 GMT

Brown cautious over Hendry injury

Colin Hendry has been given time to recover by manager Craig Brown

Scotland's Colin Hendry has pulled out of a Rangers under-21 match against Cetlic after Scotland manager Craig Brown decided not to risk his captain ahead of the Euro 2000 play-offs.

With the double header against England fast approaching the Scots have been badly hit with the withdrawal of Celtic midfielder Paul Lambert because of concussion.

Lambert suffered a facial injury during Sunday's Old Firm clash with Rangers at Ibrox which will sideline him for up to three weeks on doctors' advice at just the wrong time.

[ image: Paul Lambert: Out for Scotland after a horrific clash on Sunday]
Paul Lambert: Out for Scotland after a horrific clash on Sunday
It means Brown must look again at his midfield options and his focus will now undoubtedly switch to Rangers centre-half Hendry, who remains troubled by a knee injury collected on Scotland duty a month ago against Bosnia at Ibrox.

Brown said: "My heart sank when I saw Paul carried off, I feared the worst straight away.

"When I saw a close-up of the injury it was clear to me that it was serious blow and it is a major disappointment to us.

"It's a terrible blow because he's an excellent player who I know the English respect after what he achieved at Borussia Dortmund."

Without Lambert's experience, Hendry's leadership qualities become more vital for Brown, but there is no prospect of testing his captain in match action.

It was planned for Hendry to take some part in an Under-21 match for Rangers, ironically against Celtic, at Livingston on Tuesday - but that idea has now been scrapped on medical grounds.

Brown explained: "He won't play in that game because of the risk he may collect an injury just as he is progressing well in training.

"We would prefer to work on his fitness in a controlled environment. We want to give him all the time "

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