Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes is confident Scott McKenna’s hamstring problems are over after missing the last Scotland squad.
McKenna is set to start the Euro 2020 qualifier in Cyprus tomorrow having missed the last two squads with a hamstring tear.
After five weeks out with a hamstring injury McKenna returned to action for the Dons prior to the Euro qualifiers against Russia and San Marino last month.
Despite a Scots’ centre-back injury crisis for that double header, the decision not to call on McKenna as a late addition was made.
That call was made by McInnes and his medical team in consultation with national boss Steve Clarke.
Now McKenna, 23, is set to start alongside Dons defensive partner Mikey Devlin at the GSP Stadium in Nicosia.
McInnes is confident that decision will pay dividends for club and country.
He said: “We made the decision to take that bit longer to give Scott every chance not to get injured again.
“Of course he could get injured again with other injuries.
“But we are certainly a bit more confident that the hamstring is a bit more robust and ready to deal with the rigours of what Scott has to deal with.
“Scott was touch and go for the international games (against Russia and San Marino).
“In hindsight it was the right thing for Scott and everyone really.
“Scott is more ready for these two Scotland games now.”
McKenna celebrated his 23rd birthday on Tuesday with the Scotland squad at their base on the outskirts of Edinburgh.
After five weeks out with the hamstring tear he returned to action for the Reds in the 1-1 draw with Hibs on October 5.
That was just 24 hours before the Scotland squad, ravaged by injury call-offs at centre-back, were set to meet up for the Group I qualifiers against Russia and Kazakhstan.
The decision was made not to send a late selection call to McKenna.
Aberdeen defensive partner Mikey Devlin was subsequently pitched in against Russia in Moscow for his debut, a 4-0 loss.
Devlin retained his starting slot for the 6-0 defeat of minnows San Marino at Hampden days later.
McKenna and Devlin are now set to start in Cyprus as national boss Clarke has only three centre-backs in his squad.
Motherwell’s Declan Gallagher, who has yet to be capped, is the only other centre-back available.
Charlie Mulgrew (Wigan Athletic), Stuart Findlay (Kilmarnock) and Grant Hanley (Norwich City) are all injured.
Leeds United centre-back Liam Cooper pulled out of the squad on Monday due to injury.
Set to start together tomorrow, McKenna will secure his 13th cap and Devlin his third.
It will be the first time two Aberdeen centre-backs have partnered from the start for Scotland since Alex McLeish and Brian Irvine in a 2-1 defeat of Romania in September 1990.
Previously McLeish had regularly partnered fellow Gothenburg Great Willie Miller in the heart of the Scots’ defence.
McInnes said: “It was difficult and frustrating for Scott to miss out on the Scotland squads because he obviously had it in his mind.
“We sat down with the medical staff and Scott because he had obviously had a recurrence of hamstring injuries.
“By doing it that way it meant he would also miss key games for us against which was tough.
“It was tough for both myself and Scott.
“However, it was the right thing to do.”