McFadden return could lead to Scotland call-up

James McFadden in action for Scotland
McFadden faces a fight to get back into the Scotland starting line-up

James McFadden could yet feature for Scotland in their Carling Nations Cup matches against Wales and the Republic of Ireland at the end of May.

The Birmingham forward suffered knee ligament damage in late August and was expected to be out until the 2011/12 campaign.

But his rehabilitation has gone well and he has played in a practice match.

Club boss Alex McLeish says a Scotland comeback is possible "if there is no reaction" to his return to training.

But he is guarded about McFadden's chances of playing at senior club level this season.

The former Scotland manager said: "James has joined the young players in training and played in a small-sided game with them on Monday.

"Now it just depends on the reactions to his knee.

"I would think hopefully we can get over the line and he can make some kind of appearance before the end of the season.

"We just have to see if there is any reaction to what he has been doing, when he has been involved and back with the group again."

As for being available for Scotland boss Craig Levein for the Carling Nations Cup fixtures, McLeish added: "I would suspect the doctor would be cautious about it and we would look to try and have an agreement with Scotland.

"But again we don't know if he is near at all [to playing] as of yet."

Though a favourite of the Scotland fans, prior to his injury McFadden had struggled to win a starting place in Levein's team.

Scotland take on Wales at the Aviva Stadium on Wednesday 25 May then play the Republic at the same stadium four days later.

Levein's men beat Northern Ireland 3-0 in their first match.