McCoist may have to wait

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The Independent Online
Scottish football

Four international players - Paul McStay, Stuart McCall, Ally McCoist and Scott Booth - are available to return to Scottish League action today.

All four missed Scotland's friendly with Sweden in Stockholm on Wednesday, but are fit enough to be named in squads by Celtic, Rangers and Aberdeen respectively.

Although McCall should play, Rangers may not risk McCoist for their visit to Partick Thistle, with a Champions' League trip to Juventus to come on Wednesday. McCoist suffered a thigh strain 10 days ago but has made a quick recovery.

"I don't want to bring him back too quickly if there is a chance of the same injury happening again," said the Ibrox manager, Walter Smith, who will still be without five top men tomorrow: Paul Gascoigne, Brian Laudrup, Charlie Miller, Ian Ferguson and Oleg Salenko are all injured.

Celtic entertain Hibernian with McStay back after a groin problem. Phil O'Donnell will play in the reserves as he seeks to prove his fitness for Thursday's Cup-Winners' Cup tie at Paris St-Germain. Tosh McKinlay also has a chance of making it for that game but will not feature today. Celtic will not comment on speculation linking them with the Liverpool and Wales striker, Ian Rush.

The Aberdeen striker Booth, the top scorer in the Premier League, is fit to keep his place for the visit to Fir Park to face Motherwell.

Heart of Midlothian are at home to Raith Rovers, who may have their minds on Tuesday's Uefa Cup meeting with Bayern Munich. Jim Jefferies, the Hearts manager, will give Tynecastle debuts to Neil Pointon, the former Everton full-back, and Steve Fulton after their recent arrivals in Edinburgh. David Hagen, who went to Falkirk when Fulton moved to Hearts, makes his debut against Kilmarnock at Brockville Park.

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