Lions contender Chris Cusiter will have less time to prove he is worth a place in the squad to tour South Africa after a thumb injury ruled him out of all of Scotland’s autumn internationals.
The Perpignan scrum-half, who was one of just three Scottish Lions in 2005, fractured a thumb in a match against Dax and has been ruled out for six weeks.
Cusiter, who is currently second choice for his country behind captain Mike Blair, will definitely miss Scotland’s Tests against New Zealand, South Africa and Canada, and could also be absent from his club’s back-to-back Heineken Cup games against Leicester.
Scotland coach Frank Hadden received a further blow with the news that fellow scrum-half Rory Lawson requires specialist advice on a rib injury and centre Graeme Morrison has knee ligament damage.
The Scotland squad left Edinburgh for a warm-weather training camp in Spain on Sunday night but Lawson, Morrison and Cusiter did not travel.
However, Glasgow No9 Mark McMillan has received a call-up, while wing Niki Walker is expected to join the squad on Monday after being released by the Ospreys.