Caldwell ready for Scots
Wigan's Gary Caldwell insists he is ready for Scotland if needed against Czech Republic and Spain.
Last Updated: 04/10/10 5:39pm
Wigan Athletic defender Gary Caldwell insists he is ready for Scotland if needed in their Euro 2012 qualifiers against Czech Republic and Spain.
The 28-year-old is yet to feature for the Latics this season after recently recovering from a double hip operation over the summer.
Caldwell has played in a behind-closed-doors and reserve match for Wigan but is yet to play in competitive action for the club.
The former Hibs stopper admits he is something of a gamble for head coach Craig Levein with two tricky Euro 2012 qualifiers on the horizon.
However, Caldwell is ready and willing to step up if needed by his country to help his team-mates as they bid to qualify for the finals.
"You will never be match fit unless you play matches and when you come back from injury, there is always going to be a first game," Caldwell said.
"You are never going to be 100 per cent right so whenever that game comes, it probably is going to be gamble.
"But you have to take that some time and if it's Friday night or the following Tuesday, I have said to the manager I am ready for that challenge."
Caldwell continued: "I was surprised to be in the squad. But it was a boost for me to get back involved so soon.
"I am just happy to be back, I have been out for a long time. But I have been training for a long time and I am fit enough to play.
"I haven't played enough football in terms of 90 minutes. I have played 45 minutes at the training ground then I had a reserve game against West Ham where I played 65 minutes so 90 minutes is the next step.
"I am ready to play and do what the manager asks me to, but that will be his decision."
Levein is looking forward to having Caldwell in and around his squad, but feels the qualifiers have come too soon for him to feature in both matches.
"I don't think there is any chance of him playing the two games," the former Hearts and Dundee United boss said.
"He has been out for a long time but is way ahead of schedule with his recovery.
"I wanted him around the place because he is a great character and very professional and I think he will help the rest of the squad.
"I think he can contribute but until I see him in training this week I couldn't tell you how much."