Hull winger Robert Snodgrass is set to make his Scotland comeback after finally putting his 15-month injury nightmare behind him.
Scotland manager Gordon Strachan has revealed he is considering handing the Tigers wide man a recall for this month’s friendly double header against the Czech Republic and Denmark.
The former Livingston, Leeds United and Norwich City attacker dislocated his kneecap while making his debut for Steve Bruce’s side against Queens Park Rangers back in August 2014.
He suffered a number of set-backs but was at last able to return to action in a Capital One Cup clash with Manchester City in December.
Since then, the 28-year-old has racked up a further 14 appearances and even put in a man-of-the-match display for Hull against Sheffield Wednesday on Friday night.
Now Strachan confirmed Snodgrass is back in contention for his international return, two and a half years after winning the last of his 15 caps in a 1-0 friendly victory away to Norway.
“I am absolutely delighted to see Snoddy back playing and making an impact for Hull,” Strachan told the official Scottish FA website. “We have kept in touch with him all the way through his rehabilitation and he has been around the squads.
“Even during the hardest parts of his recovery he always arrived with a smile on his face and the rewards he is getting now back on the pitch are thoroughly deserved for what he’s had to contend with through injury.
“The most important thing is not to rush him. It’s far more important he is back to 100 per cent for his club and ready for the start of the World Cup qualifiers, but I know how enthusiastic he is and he makes a difference to our squad.
“I will keep in touch with Steve Bruce up until we announce the squad but if he thinks he is ready, and Robert does, too, then we will look forward to having him back.”
Strachan will pick two different squads for the Prague clash with the Czechs on 25 March and their Hampden date with the Danes five days later.
But he will have to do without Crystal Palace’s James McArthur after the midfielder was ruled out for the remainder of the season with an ankle issue.
Strachan – who will announce both squads on 10 March – said: “James McArthur has had a really terrific season for Palace before his injury. He has really come of age this season as a Premier League player and, like Snoddy, I really cannot ask for more from James than he gives every time he joins up for international duty.”
But the national team boss confirmed he will use the back-to-back friendlies to take a look at some fresh faces as he prepares a plan that he hopes will take Scotland to the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
“There have been some young players who have caught the eye this season and who have certainly put themselves in contention,” he said. “I will speak to the performance director, Brian McClair, before we confirm anything because I’m aware Ricky [Sbragia] and Scot [Gemmill] have important Under-21 qualifiers and an Under-19 Elite Round at the same time.
“There may be one or two more surprises but that depends on how players perform over the next week to ten days, when we will finalise the squads.”