The faltering career of Scotland midfielder Robert Snodgrass is set to be re-launched in October after a series of injuries that kept him sidelined for the whole of last season.
The 27-year-old joined Hull City from Norwich City in a deal worth £7 million, but Snodgrass dislocated his kneecap in the opening match of the season against Queens Park Rangers in August 2014.
The initial prognosis was a four-to-six month lay-off for Snodgrass, but further exploration of the injury revealed cartilage damage that has taken a full 12 months to heal.
As well as preventing his Hull career from taking off, the injury has kept Snodgrass out of Scotland’s six European Championship qualifiers during the past 12 months.
Gordon Strachan’s men have shown some good form without Snodgrass amongst them, beating Georgia, the Republic of Ireland, and Gibraltar at home.
Snodgrass has 15 Scotland caps to his name and had become a central part of Strachan’s plans for the campaign when his injury struck.
At the time, Strachan backed the former Leeds United man to bounce back, praising the work rate and attitude that had made Snodgrass an “influential player” in the eyes of the Scotland boss.
The next round of European Championship qualifiers sees Scotland travel to Georgia on September 4th and, with the latest odds at football betting sites likely to be in Scotland’s favour, Snodgrass could face a battle to prove his fitness and his form in time to earn a place in the team.
The frustration for Snodgrass is compounded by the fact that this is a battle he has faced – and won – in the past. It wasn’t until 2011, at the age of 23, that he finally made his Scotland debut, despite having established himself as one of the best footballers in England outside of the Premier League by that time.
Snodgrass arrived at Leeds United in 2008, when fellow Scotsman Gary McAllister was then manager at Elland Road. Snodgrass was about to turn 21, and he had been a regular at Livingstone for three seasons.
After a slow start to life at Leeds, he went on to become a key part of the once great club’s journey away from the darkest days of its history, forming a formidable midfield alongside Jonny Howson and Bradley Johnson that spurred Leeds to promotion.
Despite having played for Scotland at under-19, under-20, and under-21 level, Snodgrass was often overlooked by then manager George Burley, and it wasn’t until Snodgrass hit the headlines with big performances in Leeds’ FA Cup clashes with Arsenal in 2011 that he finally broke into the national set-up.
Since then, Snodgrass had never looked back before his injury, netting three goals in 15 appearances for Scotland, including one in each of the World Cup qualifiers against Croatia in 2013.
Now, as he works towards full fitness in pre-season at Hull, he could be about to embark on a whole new chapter of his career. It is one that he will hope features promotion back to the Premier League for the Tigers, as well as a part to play in a successful qualifying campaign for his country.
— Scottish FA (@ScottishFA) June 19, 2015