HUDDERSFIELD TOWN look certain to go into their key game at League I promotion rivals Stevenage on Tuesday week without top scorer Jordan Rhodes.
The 29-goal man seems sure to be involved in either Scotland’s senior friendly in Slovenia or their big European Under 21 Championship qualifier against Holland at Paisley.
Rhodes, 22, was on target as the young Scots blew their qualifying group wide open with a fine 2-1 win over the Dutch in Nijmegen in November.
With four of their eight games gone, Billy Stark’s side are just a point behind leaders Holland in a five-nation group which also includes Bulgaria, Austria and Luxembourg.
The group winners and four best runners-up will then take part in two-legged play-offs to determine the seven who will join hosts Israel in the finals in summer 2013.
Rhodes, who will still be eligible if Scotland make it to the Middle East, has notched six goals in as many Under 21 outings, the first a friendly in Belgium last March.
And the Oldham-born player whose early schooling was in Scotland made his senior debut as a substitute in the 2-1 friendly win over Cyprus in Larnaca in November.
National boss Craig Levein has made a string of trips to watch Rhodes this season as he builds towards the 2014 World Cup qualification campaign.
Sources North of the border suggest he would like to pair Rhodes with Wolves frontman Steven Fletcher for the tests ahead.
The Scots are up against Serbia, Macedonia, Wales, Croatia and Belgium with qualifiers running from this September to October 2013.
And they will tune-up with a trip to the USA in May, when the two nations will meet in Jacksonville on Saturday 26.