Neil Lennon has insisted he will not put Scott Brown's career at risk as the Celtic captain continues to battle a long-standing hip problem.
The 27-year-old has made only nine appearances for the Hoops this season, and Lennon admitted he has been having a pain-killing injection before each game.
The ailment curtailed Brown's comeback for Scotland against Wales last week, when he decided he could not continue after struggling through the first half.
Lennon hopes to have his skipper available for next week's daunting trip to Barcelona, but the Celtic boss insists he will not jeopardise Brown's long-term health.
"If the medical team were to feel it is a long-term problem then they would shut him down automatically," Lennon said. "We would not put his career or his future in jeopardy at all.
"But the medical team seem to think he can cope with this at the minute. He gets rest and recovery in between games. He gets treatment, an injection before games and plays.
"For me, Scott is playing the best football of his career. It is just unfortunate that he has a significant problem and the only solution is a concerted period of rest.
"He wanted to play for Scotland and we won't stand in his way of that but he was feeling sore even in the warm-up. He got through the first-half and looked pretty comfortable but obviously he was in a bit of distress.
"The majority of games he comes through unscathed but the days after the game are a huge problem for him in terms of discomfort and pain."