SFA hits back at Hibs’ Neil Lennon over Ryan Porteous treatment claims

Ryan Porteous in action for Scotland Under-21s during the Toulon Tournament in France in May. Picture: SNS Group
Ryan Porteous in action for Scotland Under-21s during the Toulon Tournament in France in May. Picture: SNS Group
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The SFA has hit back at Hibs boss Neil Lennon’s criticism of how Easter Road kid Ryan Porteous was treated while on international duty insisting every Scotland player gets the very best of care.

Lennon admitted he was angry to have discovered that Porteous had continued to play for Scotland’s Under-21 side in the prestigious Toulon Tournament in the South of France despite a scan showing he had torn a cartilage in his knee.

Porteous has missed the Edinburgh club’s entire pre-season programme and will sit out tonight’s Europa League clash with NSi Runavik although the 19-year-old has now returned to training.

Lennon accused the SFA of not even having the courtesy of letting Hibs know what had happened to their player, revealing he only found out when his squad reported back to prepare for the new season.

He said: “I’ve asked for a report from the Scotland medical team explaining why he played in games when scans showed he had a tear in the cartilage.

• READ MORE - Neil Lennon slams SFA for treatment of Hibs’ Ryan Porteous

“There’s been no phone call, no courtesy call. Nothing. My physio was out there with England Under-21s and he was mortified when he realised the extent of the injury.”

But in response to Lennon’s attack, an SFA spokesman said: “It goes without saying that we want to return every player who represents Scotland back to their club in the best possible condition.

“We employ very experienced medical staff who provide the highest level of care to the players to the standards expected by their profession and the medical bodies.

“Importantly, we only select players who are fit to play. It wouldn’t be right for us to divulge any personal medical information about Ryan, or indeed any other player.

“But we can say in this instance, we were in contact with Hibernian continuously throughout and after the tournament and after the tournament via our medical team and their counterparts at the club.

“This is standard practice at international level. All of our medical notes and information have been shared with the club and we will continue our dialogue with them directly in relation to Ryan and any other Hibernian players who are on Scotland duty in the future.”