Friday 24 November 2017

Commons gets Scotland call-up as injury forces Levein's hand

In-form Celtic midfielder Kris Commons has won a Scotland recall after Robert Snodgrass and Jordan Rhodes pulled out of the squad to face Wales and Belgium.

Commons had been a controversial exclusion for the World Cup double-header after arguably being Celtic's best player this season.

But the 29-year-old, who last played for Scotland in a friendly defeat by Brazil in March 2011, has been drafted in after Snodgrass failed to overcome the ankle problem that kept him out of action at the weekend. Blackburn striker Rhodes has also withdrawn with an ankle injury.

Snodgrass started the goalless draw with Serbia last month and Rhodes came off the bench against both Serbia and Macedonia.

Commons was last named in a squad for the friendly against Denmark at Hampden on August 10.


But the former Nottingham Forest player turned up at the team hotel with a protective boot on after suffering a foot injury for Celtic and was eventually ruled out.

He was also forced to withdraw from the previous squad for games against Wales and the Republic of Ireland in May 2011. He was sent home by the medical team with tight hamstrings after reporting to the team hotel.

Commons struggled with form and fitness for much of last season but has re-established himself as a key player for Celtic in an advanced midfield role this term.

Scotland manager Craig Levein previously said there were more than half a dozen players ahead of Commons in his position and that he was "really unlucky" to be left out of his initial squad.

Commons last week admitted his exclusion had left him "baffled" and said in Celtic's match-day programme that his international career was the last thing on his mind.

Levein has 22 players available for the clash with Wales on Friday night and the game in Brussels four days later.

Irish Independent

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