Rangers star Nathan Patterson has been dealt a blow after being sent home from the Scotland squad – just as James Tavernier’s Covid-19 diagnosis threatened to hand him an Ibrox opportunity.

The young right-back, 19, was a stand-out for Scotland as the nation defeated Moldova 1-0 at Hampden but he has been replaced in the squad by Hibs star Paul McGinn.

Patterson joinS Kenny McLean and Ryan Fraser in pulling out of the squad even if at the time of writing it is not clear the motivations behind the trio pulling out.

It is a sizeable blow to Scotland’s chances with the nation facing a crunch World Cup Qualifier against Austria later this week.

But for Rangers, Patterson’s bad luck when it comes to covering captain James Tavernier continues after both players missed the 1-0 Old Firm win over Celtic before the break.

Patterson was forced into self-isolation as a close contact of a Covid-19 case whilst, as Tavernier would later detail, the Gers skipper is recovering from a positive case of the virus.

“I can’t wait to get back into training. I’ve had a couple of sessions so far,” Tavernier said on his Twitch channel.

“I’m back in normal tomorrow. Can’t wait.

“I’m feeling better now. It’s been pretty bad. I think I’ve had all of it (symptoms) except the temperature.

“I still don’t have my taste back.

“I was meant to go out for a family dinner but didn’t see much point if I can’t taste anything.”

Given the proximity of Tavernier’s positive test, many fans would’ve viewed this as the perfect opportunity for Nathan Patterson to get a run in the side.

Whilst it remains unclear the severity of any potential injury picked up by Nathan on Scotland duty, there will now be some doubt over whether or not Patterson will be fit enough to do so.

Scotland v Moldova - 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifier
Nathan Parterson impressed for Scotland against Moldova.. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Leon Balogun deputised in the berth against Old Firm rivals Celtic and was on inspired form to earn the Man of the Match award, so there is cover if required.

For many fans the situation with Tavernier and Patterson presents a dilemma with Rangers even turning down an £8m bid for their back-up right-back from Premier League Everton this summer.

Both players will get minutes this season but perhaps this is an opportunity Patterson will regret missing if he can’t recover in time for the trip to St Johnstone on Saturday.

Talking of Everton’s interest in Patterson, a club insider has rubbished claims regarding the player’s Covid-19 situation and a potential medical down south.

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