Scotland’s Kieran Tierney and Nathan Patterson possible doubts for play-off semi

Scotland defenders Kieran Tierney and Nathan Patterson have emerged as potential injury doubts for the World Cup play-offs in June.

The two players started both matches of the national team’s recent friendly double-header against Poland and Austria, but they are now facing lay-offs at the end of the domestic season.

Arsenal defender Tierney has a knee injury and Everton right-back Patterson has an ankle issue, with both players set for operations.

While the exact recovery time-frames of both players are yet to be established, they both appear to be in a race to be fit for the June international window, when Scotland are due to face Ukraine in the play-off semi-final, with Wales awaiting the winners in the final.

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Tierney missed Arsenal’s 3-0 defeat away to Crystal Palace on Monday, and the Gunners confirmed in a statement on Tuesday afternoon that the left-sided defender’s season looks likely to be over as he prepares to undergo surgery.

“A specialist consultation took place on Tuesday, and as a result of further discussions with Kieran and our medical team, it has been decided that Kieran requires surgery to his knee,” read an Arsenal statement. “This procedure will take place in London in the forthcoming days.

“Kieran’s rehabilitation programme will start immediately after his surgery, at which stage a clearer understanding will be established on his recovery timescale. However, it is likely that Kieran will now miss the remainder of this season.

“Everyone at the club will now be supporting and working hard with Kieran to get him back on the pitch as soon as possible.”

Confirmation of the extent of Tierney’s injury came on the same day that Everton manager Frank Lampard revealed news of Patterson’s impending lay-off.

“Nathan Patterson will be out for a certain period of time,” said Lampard, speaking at his media briefing on Tuesday afternoon. “He’s been to see a specialist on his ankle and we’re looking at having a small operation later this week.”

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