Kieran Tierney misses Scotland World Cup play-off through knee surgery rehab

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Kieran Tierney misses Scotland World Cup play-off through  knee surgery rehab
Kieran Tierney misses Scotland World Cup play-off through knee surgery rehab

KIERAN Tierney will miss Scotland’s World Cup play-off programme but Nathan Patterson has been included in Steve Clarke’s 28-man squad despite recent surgery.

Arsenal defender Tierney was booked in for knee surgery early in April after feeling discomfort in a training session and he will not make it back for Scotland’s June schedule.

But Everton right-back Patterson has been included following ankle surgery around the same time. Toffees boss Frank Lampard had estimated an eight to 10 week absence for the former Rangers player.

Chelsea midfielder Billy Gilmour is also selected after missing the final game of his loan spell at Norwich with a minor injury.

Centre-backs John Souttar and Liam Cooper are back in the squad following injury, while Bologna full-back Aaron Hickey and Sunderland striker Ross Stewart retain their places following their first call-ups in March.

Scotland host Ukraine on June 1 in a delayed World Cup play-off semi-final, with Wales awaiting the winners four days later.

Clarke’s side also have two games against Armenia either side of a trip to Dublin to face the Republic of Ireland in their opening UEFA Nations League encounters.

Hearts centre-back Souttar returned from ankle surgery in his club’s final two games of the season against Rangers, who he will join in the coming weeks. The former Dundee United player scored in Scotland’s final World Cup group game against Denmark in November.

Cooper missed four months of the season with a hamstring injury but played six games in the run-in as Leeds preserved their Premier League status.

Both he and Nottingham Forest’s Scott McKenna are natural left-sided alternatives to Tierney in Clarke’s back three.

Clarke has named four goalkeepers: Craig Gordon, David Marshall, Liam Kelly and Zander Clark.

Stephen O’Donnell and Anthony Ralston, plus left-back Hickey, are options for the right wing-back slot if Patterson is not ready for the Ukraine game.

Celtic midfielder David Turnbull returns after missing the first few months of 2022 with a hamstring injury.

Stewart, who scored his 26th goal of the season in the Sky Bet League One play-off final, will provide cover alongside Jacob Brown for main forwards Che Adams and Lyndon Dykes.

There is no place for Ryan Fraser, who was left out of the squad in March after pulling out of the final World Cup qualifiers but trained under newly-appointed Newcastle boss Eddie Howe days later.

Clarke vowed to pick him on form in the future but he is absent after missing Newcastle’s final Premier League game with a tight hamstring.

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