Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes confirmed the decision not to call up fit again defender Scott McKenna to face Russia was made after regular discussions with Steve Clarke.
After five weeks out with a hamstring tear the Dons centre-back returned to action in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Hibs.
The 22-year-old had only returned to training three days before that game.
Capped 12 times, McKenna has been a regular starter for Scotland and would have been selected by national boss Clarke if not sidelined by injury at the time of the initial squad announcement.
Clarke’s preparations for the Group I qualifier against Russia in Moscow tonight were rocked by injury withdrawals to centre-backs Grant Hanley and Liam Cooper.
Leeds United’s Cooper was forced to withdraw with a groin injury and was replaced with Kilmarnock’s uncapped Stuart Findlay.
On Monday, Norwich City’s Hanley pulled out with the reoccurrence of groin injury.
That opened up the opportunity for McKenna to be called up as a replacement.
However, Clarke opted to select uncapped Motherwell centre-back Declan Gallagher as replacement for Hanley.
Scotland flew out to Russia with three uncapped centre-backs in the squad, as alongside Gallagher and Findlay, Aberdeen’s Mikey Devlin has yet to get game-time for the senior team.
Devlin dropped out of the Dons starting XI against Hibs on Saturday to make way for the returning McKenna.
The only centre-back with any international experience in Clarke’s squad is Charlie Mulgrew, with 43 caps.
However, McInnes and Clarke both agreed leaving McKenna out of the squad to get a full week’s training after recently returning form injury was the best action.
McInnes said: “I have talked with Steve often enough, about Scott’s situation in particular.
“Steve has spoken to Scott as well. We all came to the conclusion that the best thing for Scott is a full working week.
“Scott was touch and go to be joining them. Both Steve and I feel it is probably better if Scott gets the full week of training here because he has missed enough football already this season.”
As well as the match against Russia there would also be the issue of the four-hour flight to Moscow having only recently recovered from a hamstring tear.
McKenna missed the Euro 2020 qualifying home defeats to Russia and group leaders Belgium last month having suffered the injury a week earlier.
Those defeats effectively killed any slim hopes of qualification via Group I. Second-placed Russia are nine points ahead of Scotland, who languish in fifth spot.
The Dark Blues’ focus now turns towards attempting to build momentum and positivity from the remaining qualifiers ahead of the UEFA Nations League play-offs looming in March.
It is understood McKenna has received assurances from national boss Clarke that he will be in the squad for the next round of games.
Scotland’s patched-up defence will tonight face Russian football’s top goal-scorer Aleksandr Sobolev, who has netted 10 goals in 12 games for Krylia Sovetov.
The 22-year-old is set for a debut cap and replaces injured Fedor Smolov of Lokomotiv Moscow. Sobolev has been linked with a move to the English Premier League, with Manchester United and Arsenal reportedly interested in the striker.
Scotland also face minnows San Marino, a team without a victory in more than a decade, at Hampden on Sunday.
It is understood if Scotland suffer further injuries at centre-back ahead of Sunday McKenna could yet be called up to face San Marino having had a full week’s training with Aberdeen.
McInnes said: “It is great to have Scott back as he brings personality and leadership to the team. Scott and Andy Considine grew into the Hibs game and were dealing with their striker (Christian Doidge).
“We would obviously have wanted to get more training into him but Scott wanted to play and we want him in the team.
“He trained very well.”