Andy Robertson won’t be playing for Scotland this month and might not be able to face Crystal Palace following the international break due to an ankle injury. However, it’s not a new injury; not something he picked up in training this week.
Instead, it’s an issue Robertson has been nursing for more than two weeks, something that has kept him out of regular training and that he feared was getting increasingly worse—and that wasn’t helped by a tackle in the Manchester City match.
“For the last two and a half weeks I’ve not trained at all for Liverpool,” Robertson admitted. “I’ve trained the day before a game and not missed a Champions League game other than the last 15 minutes against Genk and Arsenal in the League Cup.
“It’s a niggling injury which won’t go away unless I give it time. If you know Liverpool and our schedule we don’t have time and after another knock against Man City on Sunday it has gotten worse. I was already a doubt but that sealed it.”
Robertson’s decision was based both on Liverpool’s crowded fixture list in the coming months and also that he says he sees the playoffs to make Euro 2020 in the spring as more important for Scotland than their next two games.
The goal for the player, then, is long-term fitness, with the hope being that two weeks off now will mean he avoids the ankle issue becoming serious enough that he might miss months—and a slew of important matches—in the new year.
“I don’t care what game it is, I want to play,” he added. “But I don’t want to pick up more injuries and ruin my season because of it. The games in March are so big for [Scotland] and will decide whether we go to a major tournament or not.
“It hurts as captain to miss out but I’ve had to be selfish for the first time in my career and let my body rest. I’ve had to listen to the people around me. The fact my ankle has swollen up again has made it easier to miss these games.”