James Brown is out of Malta’s World Cup qualifiers against Slovenia and Cyprus as the wing back has failed to recover from a hamstring injury he picked up with his club St Johnstone.
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 named in Malta’s 30-man squad that is 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 the team rested on him recovering from hamstring injury he suffered during training.
On his arrival to Malta, Brown was examined by the medical staff of the Malta Football Association and underwent an MRI scan.
However, Mangia on Thursday told reporters that Brown has not recovered enough enough to be involved in either the match against Slovenia on Friday or next Monday’s match against Cyprus.
“James Brown is out of these two matches,” Mangia said.
“We did our best to help him recover but the player is not yet fully fit and he himself is not feeling confident so we decided that he will skip both the match against Slovenia as well as the game against Cyprus.”