Bologna defender Aaron Hickey has withdrawn from the Scotland under-21 squad for the European Championship qualifiers against Kazakhstan and Belgium at Tannadice.

The defender is yet to make his debut for the under-21s despite being called up several times in the last 12 months, withdrawing from the squad each time.

aaron hickey scotland bologna serie a

(Photo by Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images)

Manager Scot Gemmill confirmed Hickey’s latest withdrawal wasn’t the result of an injury but the player feeling he needed a break after undergoing surgery in the summer and appearing regularly for his club since.

“Aaron’s not injured,” Gemmill said. “He’s asked to rest. He thinks he’s played a lot of games. He had surgery in the summer and he feels he needs to prepare for his next game in Serie A.

“I take that at face value, absolutely. I think we have to respect his decision. He’s a young player who knows himself what he needs.

“I have to concentrate on the players that are here. We’ve obviously got big games coming up on Friday and Tuesday so we’re just concentrating on preparing the players that are here and hopefully we get to work with Aaron in the future.”

Positive news ahead for Scotland U21 of Tannadiace double-header

While Hickey will miss the double-header, the man likely to replace him for Scotland under-21s, Hibs defender Josh Doig, will be ok to feature after his club were forced into lockdown following a Covid-19 outbreak at Easter Road.

Hibs had to cancel two Premiership fixtures after being left with only a handful of available players, with Doig spending a spell in isolation as a result.

However, Gemmill has confirmed the Easter Road star will be available for the Euro qualifiers as his side look to build on a decent start to the group so far.

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