JORDAN RHODES has pulled out of the Scotland squad for next Tuesday’s final World Cup qualifier against Croatia at Hampden with a groin injury.
The Blackburn Rovers striker was the only withdrawal from Gordon Strachan’s original 24-man party who gathered at their Renfrewshire base late yesterday afternoon However, no replacement has been called up.
The prolific Rhodes has scored nine goals in 11 appearances for the English Championship club so far this season, but will be absent when Scotland wrap up their disappointing Group A campaign against top-seeded Croatia.
The 23-year-old also missed Scotland’s last match, the 2-1 victory over Macedonia in Skopje last month, after being sent home with a wrist injury sustained in training.
Rhodes has started just one match for Scotland since Strachan became manager, the 2-0 defeat against Serbia in Belgrade in March. Strachan has openly questioned Rhodes’ suitability for the lone striker role Scotland regularly deploy and which is currently up for grabs following Kenny Miller’s recent retirement from international football.
Used five times as a substitute by Strachan so far, Rhodes has scored three goals in 11 appearances for Scotland – all three coming last year.