Football - Brown bored by surgery talk

Scott Brown won a £20 fun wager with Celtic manager Neil Lennon for scoring his first goal since March in the 3-1 Clydesdale Bank Premier League win over Kilmarnock at Rugby Park but finished the afternoon unhappy after being quizzed about his ongoing hip problem.

Football - Brown bored by surgery talk

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Scott Brown, left, got on the scoresheet during Celtic's 3-1 win over Kilmarnock

The captain's battle with the injury has been the theme of his season and at one stage he revealed he would delay an operation until the Hoops had qualified for the last 16 of the Champions League, which they achieved with a 2-1 home win over Spartak Moscow on Wednesday.

Brown was the star man against Killie, opening the scoring with a drive in the 27th minute and setting up Joe Ledley for number two after the break, allowing the Wales midfielder to also collect £20 from Lennon. Substitute Georgios Samaras grabbed a third with a header before former Celtic striker Cillian Sheridan scored a last-gasp consolation for Killie.

Brown started off the post-match press conference joking that he would spend his winnings "on the deposit on a house" but was then at odds with Lennon's claim that he had recently taken a cortisone injection, saying: "I haven't had an injection in a long time."

After being asked further about the injury, the mood of the Scotland midfielder changed and he said: "I think we have had enough talk of this surgery. It is boring me now, so I think we will get on to other things and look forward to the next game. We have a big game on Wednesday against Arbroath and that's the main thing."

He then abruptly left the room.

Earlier, Lennon had waxed lyrical about his skipper after revealing he had lost his bet with Brown and Ledley, who scored his first goal since notching against Helsinki in a Champions League qualifier in August.

The Hoops boss said: "I had a £20 bet with both of them before the game, so I am £40 out of pocket. I wanted them to chip in with some goals."

Killie boss Kenny Shiels believes Celtic will tighten their grip on the domestic game now that qualification for the knockout phase of the Champions League, which resumes in February, has been secured.

He said: "I think there is a distinct clarity for Celtic now as to how they are going to approach the next few months. You could see in their body language that there is a great relief in achieving what they have achieved and now they can concentrate on domestic football."

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