Fletcher prepared to risk injury as Scotland face key Slovakia tie

Scotland captain Darren Fletcher is willing to take a risk with his injured thigh in his desperation to face Slovakia tonight.
Darren Fletcher.Darren Fletcher.
Darren Fletcher.

The West Brom midfielder won his 75th cap in the World Cup qualifier against Lithuania on Saturday but had to be replaced at the interval by James McArthur, who scored an 89th-minute equaliser to earn the home side a point in the 1-1 draw.

Scotland moved on to four points from two Group F games but the result at Hampden Park put them under pressure for the match against the Slovaks who have lost their opening two fixtures.

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Fletcher, though, will do everything he can to help the cause.

“It’s still a bit sore but it’s progressed quite well,” said the 32-year-old. “I’m not going to train tonight because I don’t want it to bleed again.

“I’m hoping that I wake up tomorrow and it’s improved again and I’ll go for a fitness test. Fingers crossed that I’m available for selection.

“Of course I’d risk it, but that’s down to the manager as well if I’m able to play. I’m desperate to play.

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“I’ve nothing to save myself for. Club games are important but representing your country is equally important.

“I don’t look to protect myself, if I’m available to play and the manager selects me then I’ll be out there doing my best.”

Boss Gordon Strachan is encouraged that Fletcher is not yet ruled out.

He said: “It would be bad news if he wasn’t going to have a fitness test but good news that he is going to have one.

“I actually thought it was a thigh strain at half-time, it was actually a knock.

“We will prepare a team with Darren in it and a team without Darren and put the final touches tomorrow.”