european qualifying

Caldwell to miss Macedonia and Norway games

September 2, 2009

Steven Caldwell has been ruled out of Scotland's crucial World Cup double header against Macedonia and Norway.

The Burnley captain has failed to shake off the groin injury he picked up in his country's 4-0 thrashing in Norway last month, which was his first cap for almost three and a half years.

Defender Caldwell, 28, has not featured for his club since but Scotland boss George Burley decided to retain him in his squad for the final two games of the Group Nine campaign.

Burley will not call up a replacement, even though Caldwell's younger brother Gary is suspended for Saturday's Hampden clash with Macedonia.

Scotland must win both their remaining qualifiers to stand any chance of reaching next summer's finals in South Africa.

Caldwell is the second player to withdraw from the Scotland squad, with Birmingham striker Gary O'Connor yesterday called up to replace the injured Kevin Kyle.

Kyle underwent knee surgery on Friday after tearing a cartilage during Kilmarnock's Co-operative Insurance Cup win over Morton last week.

The Killie frontman, who had netted 10 goals in seven games for his club, had been recalled by Scotland following a five-year absence for the back-to-back Group Nine matches.