NEWCASTLE winger Matt Ritchie is out of the Scotland squad with a knee injury.

The St James’s Park star was included in Alex McLeish’s 24-man pool for the friendlies against Peru in Lima on May 29 and Mexico in the Azteca Stadium on June 2.

However, the 28-year-old attacker sustained an injury in his club’s last game of the season and has been forced to withdraw.

A statement from the Tyneside outfit said: “He is now receiving treatment back in Newcastle with the club’s medical staff.”

Bournemouth winger Ryan Fraser could also pull out while Hearts defender John Souttar remains a doubt for the trip.

The 21-year-old Tynecastle centre-half missed his team’s two final Premiership games with a hamstring injury.

ON GUARD…Hearts defender John Souttar attempts to block a shot from Celtic’s James Forrest.

Boss Craig Levein said: “I’m pleased to see John in the Scotland squad – I just don’t know if he’s going to be fit and available.

“He’s got a knock, so we’ll just have to see how he is. If he’s 100 per cen,t then he’ll go. We obviously have to make sure he isn’t in any danger of making his injury worse. We’ll see how he progresses over the next few days.”

McLeish named seven uncapped players for these friendlies which included Souttar, Celtic’s new Bhoy Lewis Morgan and Hibs left-back Lewis Stevenson.

The other four uncapped players are goalkeepers Jordan Archer, of Millwall, and Hearts’ Jon McLaughlin and midfielders Graeme Shinnie, of Aberdeen, and Hibs’ Dylan McGeouch.


About Author


Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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