Scotland manager Craig Levein has not given up hope of having Craig Gordon at his disposal for the Euro 2012 qualifiers against Lithuania and Czech Republic in September.
Sunderland goalkeeper Gordon faces six months on the sidelines after undergoing knee surgery but Levein will carefully monitor the former Hearts player's progress.
Levein told www.scottishfa.co.uk: "Our goalkeeping coach, Jim Stewart, has been keeping in regular contact with Craig and while early reports suggest six months, there is a chance he could be back within four.
"I will stress, though, that if he has not returned to full fitness at his club then we would not take a chance on him for the double header. It is important that Sunderland have him back to full fitness and then we will assess his readiness to return to the international fold."
Allan McGregor has emerged as Scotland's number one after an injury-hit spell for Gordon, who twice suffered a broken arm last year.
Levein added: "We are fortunate to have two world-class goalkeepers and I am sure Allan will relish the challenge of Craig coming back fully fit.
"Obviously it is a big blow to Craig at what is the business end of the season but the knee problem has been troubling him for some time and he hasn't really felt 100% so it was best that he went ahead with the operation so he can return earlier next season."