John Souttar: Hearts defender 'proud' to be back in Scotland fold

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John Souttar (left), last won a Scotland cap in 2018 against Belgium

World Cup qualifying: Moldova v Scotland Date: Friday 12 November Kick-off at 17:00 GMT. Highlights on BBC Radio Scotland & BBC iPlayer starting at 23:25 GMT

John Souttar, who has been absent for three years, is now "proud" of his re-election to the Scotland squad.

Due to injuries, the Hearts defender, 25 years old, was unable to play in four games last season and in 11 the year prior due to injury.

He has been a consistent player this term, and was called up to the national team by Steve Clarke after Grant Hanley was out of matches against Moldova (Friday), and Denmark (Monday).

Three-times capped Souttar said to BBC Scotland, "It's taken a long while."

It was a proud moment to receive the call. It was the moment last year when I was returning from an Achilles injury that caused me to doubt whether I would be able to play again, let alone at this level.

"I never doubted my self-worth as soon as I returned home. My body is feeling great. My body and mind have benefited from my time away from football.

Harry, Souttar's younger brother is a Stoke City striker and is currently in the Scotland squad. For Friday's away match, forward Lyndon Dykes has been suspended. A win would ensure Clarke's side a place in the World Cup Play-offs.

Brown was also praised by the elder Souttar. He is an "unbelievable athlete". He has scored five goals and received assists for the team this season. My brother also says that he is a very good player. He'll be a great asset for the country, I'm certain."