Brown out of Japan clash
Scott Brown has joined George Burley's lengthy list of withdrawals for Scotland's friendly against Japan.
Last Updated: 06/10/09 6:25pm
Celtic midfielder Scott Brown has joined George Burley's lengthy list of withdrawals for Scotland's friendly against Japan.
Brown is the seventh player to pull out of the trip after joining Steven Naismith, Danny Fox, Kevin Thomson, Robert Snodgrass, Shaun Maloney and Gary O'Connor on the treatment table.
The 24-year-old travelled to London on Tuesday to see a specialist after being troubled with a persistent ankle problem and the news was not good for Burley.
Brown will not be on the flight with the rest of the squad that departs from Glasgow on Thursday.
Dundee United midfielder Craig Conway has subsequently been added to the squad.
Burley has hastily added fresh faces to his squad to cover the absentees, however, he was left with just 10 players training ahead of the weekend match in Japan.
Although Burley has a number of players who remain doubtful for Saturday's clash, he insists he will not field anyone who is not fully fit.
"We've had players here. We've looked at them training and assessed them," Burley told Sky Sports News.
"Unfortunately we've got a number who are still up in the air and we might be taking one or two of them there and assessing them on Saturday.
"We've got injuries, but the game is not until Saturday. I'm not going to play someone who's injured. They've got to be fit. That's always been the bottom line."
Meanwhile, Burley has leapt to the defence of central defensive pairing Stephen McManus and Gary Caldwell following Celtic's 2-1 weekend loss to Rangers.
McManus' display was criticised in the Old Firm defeat while Caldwell was axed by manager Tony Mowbray altogether for the match.
However, Burley has no qualms with the duo and insists he is well stocked when it comes to central defensive options.
"Gary and Stephen have been outstanding for me. From day one they have been my pairing," he said.
"I think with anything you have your ups and downs, but I've got every confidence in both of them.
"They are both very strong characters and very competitive. They are both leaders, on and off the pitch.
"So I've got no hesitation in selecting those two. You've got other players like (Christophe) Berra and (Darren) Barr so we're well sorted out with centre-backs."