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Tom Cairney has withdrawn from the Scotland squad for next month’s international double header against Belgium and Albania due to an ankle injury.

The Fulham captain limped off towards the end of their first Premier League victory of the season against Burnley on Sunday and was rested for last night’s League Cup win over Exeter City. Fulham boss Slavisa Jokanovic had hoped that the playmaker would be available for Saturday’s trip to face Brighton and Hove Albion, but that now looks unlikely following Cairney’s withdrawal.

The 27 year-old suffered serious disruption to the start of his campaign last season due to a persistent knee injury and this latest ankle problem, caused by a late challenge from Burnley’s Charlie Taylor, could give Jokanovic a selection headache for the clash at the AMEX this weekend. Cairney’s possible absence could open the door to Stefan Johansen, who captained the Whites to victory over the Grecians last night.