Scotland manager Craig Levein hopes captain Darren Fletcher will be available for the start of the 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign in September.
The Manchester United midfielder has taken an extended break from football after he was diagnosed with the debilitating effects of ulcerative colitis, a chronic inflammatory bowel condition, in December.
As yet, no timescale has been given on a comeback, but Fletcheris certain to miss February's international friendly with Slovenia.
However Levein remains hopeful that his star midfielder could return for the start of the World Cup qualifying campaign, against Serbia in September.
"He's out for four months complete rest, and then we can reassess things," he said.
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