Celtic's Scott Brown eyes return to club and Scotland action

Scott Brown hopes the last two weeks of complete rest will mean a return to action for Celtic and Scotland in the near future.

The midfielder has been struggling with a hip injury but says he could be available for Celtic's trip to face St Johnstone on Saturday.

"Hopefully, I might try to play on Saturday. If not, Wednesday," he said, referring to the visit by Benfica.

"I've had two weeks off, done nothing much other than rest."

Brown was missing from Craig Levein's international squad as they were held to two World Cup qualifying draws at home to Serbia and Macedonia.

He is hopeful of being available for the next double header against Wales and Belgium in October - and does not think he will need an operation.

"Hopefully not, but we'll see how it is over the next couple of weeks," said Brown, who played down suggestions that Celtic manager Neil Lennon might save his captain for European fixtures.

Samaras is a Champions League doubt after picking up an arm injury playing for Greece
Samaras is a Champions League doubt after picking up an arm injury playing for Greece

"If I can play in the games and get through training no bother, I would hope to be selected.

"It is just a bit of wear and tear and inflammation as well. It all started last season, when I got my hernia operation.

"I've just got to sit out here and there in training, but it seems to be feeling better these days."

Brown was the latest member of the Scotland squad to back the under-pressure national coach.

"I think he's a good manager," he said. "We start with a 4-5-1, we try to go forward and create chances.

"It's just not been happening yet, but we've still got faith in the manager and faith in ourselves as well.

"I think they played well and have just been unlucky not to score goals."

Brown said the injury picked up by striker Georgios Samaras while playing for Greece was not good news for Celtic, but the midfielder was looking forward to their Champions League Group A opener in Glasgow.

"He's probably going to miss the Benfica game," said Brown.

"It is going to be a big blow. He's playing really well this season and probably has been up there as one of our best players.

"It's been four years since I've played in the Champions League.

"Now we are there, it is a much happier place."