Canaries' injury curse strikes again as McLean pulls out of Scotland squad ahead of Russia clash
PUBLISHED: 09:58 10 October 2019 | UPDATED: 09:58 10 October 2019
The international action hasn't even started yet and Norwich City have already been dealt a fresh injury issue, with Kenny McLean dropping out of the Scotland squad.
McLean was in Russia with the Scotland squad ahead of a game in Moscow on Thursday night that Steve Clarke's side have to win to keep alive their slim Euro 2020 qualification hopes.
However, Clarke revealed on the eve of the game: "It's always disappointing when you lose players from the squad and overnight we have lost Kenny McLean as well. It's another blow but a great chance for someone else. It's part and parcel of international football.
"It's always disappointing to lose a player so late in the week. When Kenny reported, he had a little niggle. It's not correct for me to say what it is, that's for his club to work out.
"We were all pretty confident that Kenny would make it but the last 24 hours it didn't get any better, it actually got a little bit worse. So we made the decision to allow Kenny to go back to Norwich."
The midfielder joins City team-mate Grant Hanley in pulling out of the game, as the centre-back needs to see a specialist about his ongoing groin problem.
McLean has been a regular for the Canaries in the Premier League so far this season, starting five of eight games. With fellow central midfielders Alex Tettey, Mario Vrancic and Tom Trybull all fighting to recover from injuries in time for a trip to Bournemouth a week on Saturday, the Scot now faces his own fight for fitness.
That is on top of the defensive injury problems, with Hanley on the sidelines alongside fellow centre-backs Christoph Zimmermann and Timm Klose, who are both out long term.
Elsewhere on Thursday, Michael McGovern will be hoping to regain the starting role for Northern Ireland, having featured in the last two Premier League games for Norwich, due to the injuries to fellow goalkeepers Tim Krul and Ralf Fahrmann.
The 35-year-old has 28 caps but hasn't made a competitive appearance for his country since November 2017, when Michael O'Neill's side were beaten 1-0 on aggregate by Switzerland in the World Cup qualification play-offs.
Northern Ireland take on the Netherlands is Rotterdam (7.45pm) looking to build on winning all four of their Group C games so far, with their opponents three points behind them in third place and Germany topping the group.
City left-back Jamal Lewis is not in the squad, after pulling out with a minor knee issue, but is expected to recover in time to be in contention for the trip to Bournemouth a week on Saturday.
Canaries striker Adam Idah could also be in action on Thursday (8.05pm), with the Republic of Ireland Under-21s hosting Italy in Euro 2021 qualifying.
Right-back Max Aarons missed two games with an ankle problem picked up while helping the England U21s to two wins during the last break and is back with the Young Lions, alongside Todd Cantwell.
Aidy Boothroyd's team take on Slovenia in a friendly on Friday night, ahead of a Euro qualifier against Austria in Milton Keynes on Tuesday.