Lee Wallace may be forced to miss Scotland double-header

Lee Wallace will lead Rangers at Hampden today but admits a knee problem may rule him out of Scotland's friendlies against Italy and France. Picture: SNS Group

Lee Wallace will lead Rangers at Hampden today but admits a knee problem may rule him out of Scotland's friendlies against Italy and France. Picture: SNS Group

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Lee Wallace has cast doubt on his involvement in Scotland’s
end-of-season matches against Italy and France.

The Rangers captain was recalled to the senior international squad by Gordon Strachan last week after an absence of almost three years.

But the inclusion of Wallace and his club mate Barrie McKay for the games against Italy in Malta on 29 May and France in Metz on 4 June has irked Rangers manager Mark Warburton.

Strachan omitted Celtic and Aberdeen players from the squad in order to assist both clubs in their preparations for early season European qualifying ties.

If Rangers defeat Hibs to win the Scottish Cup at Hampden today, they will go into the Europa League with a first qualifier on 14 July. Warburton believes his players should receive the same consideration as those from Celtic and Aberdeen in that case.

Now Wallace has admitted the timing of his return to action for Scotland, for whom he won the last of his eight caps back in November 2013, could be affected by his club commitments.

Despite being an ever present for Rangers this season,
the 29-year-old says he has an ongoing knee problem which requires rest. The Ibrox club are due to start pre-season training in Glasgow on 18 June, before travelling to South Carolina for a training camp from 26 June to 8 July.

“Those discussions are certainly going to have to take place in the next couple of days, whatever the outcome of Saturday’s game” said 
Wallace.

“During the three-week break we’ve had since the end of the league season and the cup final, it’s been great for myself to nurse a few things along. Not to sound overdramatic, but it was good to give the knee issue I’ve had for a wee while a breather.

“Again, that’s something we will speak to the manager about. I have had a programme in place to get me along in these last few weeks, whether it is coming off lower leg work in the gym, tapering off in training sessions and just getting myself through games.

“So what’s most important to me is that I’m the best I can be whenever Rangers report back. If that means taking the full rest our manager has referred to, then so be it. Or if it is going away [with Scotland] and having an extended break before starting pre-season, it will be discussed with the manager.

“Naturally, I am happy to be back involved in the Scotland squad. I didn’t see it coming, I don’t think many could have. But I am happy to be back in it and even more happy that 
Barrie McKay has earned his first call which I think is fully merited, because he has been outstanding this season.”

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