Slovakia have been handed a much-needed boost after captain Martin Skrtel returned to training following nose surgery.
The former Liverpool defender linked up with his fellow countrymen on Wednesday after undergoing an operation to mend a broken nose two days earlier, and is desperate to be fit for Tuesday’s World Cup qualifying visit of Scotland.
The 31-year-old suffered the injury in Fenerbahce’s Europa League clash with Feyenoord last Thursday but still managed to play in Sunday’s Turkish top-flight outing against Osmanlispor with the aid of a protective face mask.
The sight of Skrtel returning to training was welcomed by head coach Jan Kozak after Slovakia’s preparations for the double header against Slovenia and Scotland suffered a series of set-backs.
Winger Vladimir Weiss was dropped from the squad on Monday amid allegations that he was caught drink-driving, while Ondrej Duda,Viktor Pecovský, Peter Pekarík and Norbert Gyömbér are all out injured.
Skrtel is suspended for Saturday’s clash in Ljubljana after being sent off for a stamp on Harry Kane in last month’s opening Group F defeat to England but now looks set to face Gordon Strachan’s side in Trnava.