Injury denied Hearts' Callum Paterson a full Scotland call-up

Scotland coach Gordon Strachan would have called Callum Paterson into his squad last week had the Hearts defender not suffered a shoulder injury.

Wednesday, 16th March 2016, 6:00 am
Callum Paterson has been sidelined by a shoulder injury. Pic: Ian Georgeson

Scotland Under-21 coach Ricky Sbragia confirmed today that Paterson was to be named in the senior squad before injury struck last month.

The 21-year-old tore a shoulder ligament against Kilmarnock which has denied him a possible international debut. He is expected to return to action in early April. He was first called up by Strachan in November 14 and was amongst the substitutes for a friendly against England. He then returned to the Under-21s, but forthcoming friendlies against Czech Republic and Denmark would have brought his full 
international bow.

“I was a bit gutted for him. I was actually at the game against Kilmarnock when he got injured,” said Sbragia. “I left a bit early and didn’t realise he’d been injured. He was the one, so I was really sad for him. He’s done super, he’s been great around the place and he’s been very consistent for Hearts. This was his next step up.”

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There is no prospect of Paterson joining the Scotland Under-21 squad for European Championship qualifiers against France and Northern Ireland later this month. “The thing would be the match practice and the risk,” explained Sbragia. “Maybe I should be more selfish but I have to think about the player long term, pick him up again and chat to him about it. I would never risk him. I wouldn’t bring him in and evoke any rules to bring people in.

“The thing for Callum is to get the rest. At this time of the season, a lot of players get injured. It’s been a tough season and there are a lot of games so they’re getting injuries. We have to be wary of that as well, the number of games they’ve played and what they’re carrying. I know for a fact, of the ones in the Under-21 squad, three will come carrying injuries. We have to nurse them through it.”