Sunderland and Scotland rocked by Craig Gordon injury

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The Independent Football

Craig Levein admits Scotland's Euro 2012 qualification campaign has been dealt a blow following the news that goalkeeper Craig Gordon has suffered a broken arm.

According to the Scottish Football Association's website, the 27-year-old Sunderland player is expected to miss the first four games against Lithuania and Liechtenstein in September, and world champions Spain and Czech Republic in October.

Gordon fractured a bone in his arm and underwent an operation to repair the damage yesterday. He had suffered a similar injury in November last year following a challenge with Tottenham striker Jermaine Defoe.

Levein said: "It is obviously very disappointing to lose a goalkeeper of Craig's calibre for such a significant part of the campaign.

"I am as disappointed for the player himself as I am for the country because I know how hard he has worked to overcome a series of injuries.

"Craig has been an exceptional goalkeeper for Scotland - a talisman in fact - and I think, after getting a metal plate inserted in his arm last season, he was getting back to his best form for Sunderland.

"He also made some outstanding saves in my first match against the Czech Republic."

Gordon's injury looks set to pave the way for Allan McGregor to make a dramatic return to the national stage.

The Rangers goalkeeper has not featured for Scotland since his role in the "Boozegate" affair with Barry Ferguson, who recently announced his retirement from international football.

Levein added: "I know the circumstances are not ideal but often that is how an opportunity arises for another goalkeeper.

"I have no qualms about bringing Allan back in.

"He is a quality goalkeeper with great experience in Europe with Rangers and we are just fortunate that we are able to call on other top-quality goalkeepers."

Levein also has Cardiff's David Marshall and Rangers' second-choice goalkeeper Neil Alexander to call upon.

Meanwhile, the Scotland boss welcomed the arrival of Kenny Black as the latest member of his backroom staff, which also includes Dundee United manager Peter Houston.

"I am delighted he is on board," said Levein.

"I felt he was given a raw deal by Airdrie after working under extremely difficult circumstances. At the same time he showed great dignity in how he handled the situation.

"I have known Kenny for a long time but that alone wasn't a reason for inviting him here.

"Above all else I am working with someone who knows how I work and somebody I understand and trust. It makes it easier to fulfil the duties of being an assistant coach when that is the case.

"Also, the players will like him because he is a bubbly character and he will add to the chemistry."