FOOTBALL: Levein unlikely to play in Moscow

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FOOTBALL

Craig Levein, the Hearts defender, is doubtful for Scotland's European Championship qualifier against Russia in Moscow next week.

Levein suffered an ankle injury in the 1-1 draw with Dundee United on Tuesday and, although he played the full 90 minutes, there are fears there could be ligament damage.

"It's touch and go," the Hearts manager, Tommy McLean, admitted. "Our physio, Alan Rae, has had a look at the ankle and Craig is doubtful for Scotland's match in Moscow."

McLean has 10 players nursing injuries and the defender Steve Frail will see a specialist after being carried off on a stretcher at Tannadice with a knee injury.

The extent of his injury is not yet known, but the signs are that the cruciate ligament has not been damaged and McLean has not given up hope of him being fit to face Airdrie in the Tennents Scottish Cup semi-final next month.

"It will be 48 hours before we know," McLean added. "We have to wait until the swelling and the bruising have died down. We are arranging for him to see a specialist."

John Robertson, who was carried off with a knee injury against Rangers on Saturday, is improving.

The Kilmarnock pair of Mark Skilling and Tom Brown are facing a fitness battle to be ready for Saturday's re-arranged Premier Division fixture at Falkirk.

Both were injured in Tuesday's 1-0 defeat at home to Celtic, Skilling suffering a broken nose and Brown damaging an ankle in his first match back after a three-game ban.

Their manager, Alex Totten, said: "Mark's left eye is all swollen up. It looks like he has gone 10 rounds with Mike Tyson, but in fact it was a collision with his own team-mate, Gus McPherson.

"Tom has a badly swollen ankle and it is too early to say if either of them will be ready for Saturday."

In addition, Totten confirmed that the midfield player, John Henry, was left out against Celtic after he was late in arriving at Rugby Park because of traffic.

Portsmouth yesterday unveiled plans for a £4.5m re-development of Fratton Park. Proposals have been presented to Portsmouth City Council to develop the ground into a 21,000 all-seater stadium by 1997, in line with the requirements of the Taylor Report.

Work on the new Fratton Stand will start in early summer if the council approves the plans at their next meeting in May.

The club hope the new 5,000-seater stand will be ready by November and the ground will have a 19,000 capacity by the start of the 1996-1997 season.

Portsmouth aim to finance the work with the help of a £2m Football Trust grant and a supporters bond scheme. Club officials will meet with the FA next Tuesday to seek their approval.

The Portsmouth vice-chairman, David Deacon, said: "We have worked very hard on this project. The teamwork and effort put into this scheme in a very short time will enable the club to look to the future and move forward."

Last year, plans to move to a 25,000 all-seater stadium north of Portsmouth were turned down by the Department of the Environment.

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