Scots face injury problems ahead of qualifiers

03 September 2012 12:18

Scotland's hopes of making a strong start to their bid to reach the 2014 World Cup in Brazil have been hit by injuries to several defenders ahead of their opening qualifiers against Serbia and Macedonia.

Southampton's Danny Fox, Norwich's Russell Martin and Celtic's Charlie Mulgrew all reported to Scotland's Mar Hall base with injuries on Monday.

Scotland boss Craig Levein can ill-afford to be without all three and assistant manager Peter Houston admits they face a nervous wait to see who recovers in time for Saturday's opener against Serbia at Hampden Park.

"Danny Fox has a groin strain, Russell Martin has an ankle knock and Charlie Mulgrew's Achilles is still a bit sore. He missed Saturday's game for Celtic," Houston said.

"The good thing is we have got a few days, sometimes injuries settle down after 48 hours. We'll keep everyone informed."

On the plus side for Levein, Besiktas goalkeeper Allan McGregor expects to be available after recovering from the groin strain that forced him off in Scotland's friendly win over Australia last month.

"He played for his club on Saturday and kept a clean sheet," Houston said.

"We are absolutely delighted he's fully fit because his experience in playing big international matches is vital.

"We were convinced after the Australia game that he was struggling. He had a couple of injections and recovered brilliantly. Fair play to his club for getting it sorted."

Source: AFP