James Brown is facing a race against time to prove his fitness and be included in Malta’s final squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Slovenia and Cyprus, the Times of Malta can confirm.
The Scottish-based defender, who is on the books of Scottish Premier League side St Johnstone, earned his first call-up with the Malta national team last month after his application for a Maltese passport was successfully concluded.
Brown was given the nod by national teams’ head coach Devis Mangia to be part of a 30-man squad that is currently preparing for Friday’s home qualifier against Slovenia at the National Stadium before a trip to Larnaca to face Cyprus on October 11.
However, Brown’s hopes of making his competitive debut for Malta this month suffered a blow last week when he picked up an injury after tweaking his hamstring with St Johnstone manager Callum Davidson describing the injury as a ‘big blow for the defender.
Brown has skipped St Johnstone Premier League match against Hibernians and made the trip to Malta on Sunday night.
On his arrival to Malta, Brown was examined by the medical staff of the Malta Football Association and underwent an MRI scan.
It is understood that coach Mangia is currently in continuous contact with his medical staff and a final decision on whether Brown will be part of the squad will be taken in the next 48 hours.
So far, Brown has only been involved in light training sessions as he looks to fully recover from his injury.