Scotland suffer Caldwell blow
Steven Caldwell has been ruled out of Scotland's crucial World Cup double-header.
By Ben Collins
Last Updated: 01/09/09 7:46pm
Defender Steven Caldwell has been ruled out of Scotland's crucial World Cup double-header against Macedonia and Holland.
The Burnley captain has failed to shake off the groin injury he picked up in Scotland's 4-0 defeat in Norway last month, which was his first cap for almost three-and-a-half years.
The 28-year-old has not featured for his club since and although Scotland boss George Burley chose to retain him in his squad, it has now been confirmed that Caldwell will not be fit in time for the last two Group Nine games.
Burley will not call up a replacement, even though Caldwell's younger brother Gary is suspended for Saturday's Hampden Park clash with Macedonia.
Scotland are battling it out with Macedonia and Norway to claim second place in Group Nine, which would put them into a play-off for next summer's finals in South Africa.
Just one point separates the three nations heading into their last two qualifiers.
Caldwell is the second player to withdraw from the Scotland squad through injury, with Kevin Kyle replaced by Birmingham striker Gary O'Connor on Monday.
Kyle has undergone knee surgery after tearing a cartilage during Kilmarnock's Co-operative Insurance Cup win over Morton last week.
The 28-year-old had been recalled after five years in the international wilderness having scored 10 goals in his last seven games for Killie.