Oct 16 2012 by Gavin McInally, Paisley Daily Express
St Mirren striker Thomas Reilly will miss this weekend’s SPL showdown with Celtic after suffering an ankle injury while on international duty with Scotland.
The talented teenager played for 70 minutes of the impressive 4-3 victory for Scotland’s Under-19s against their Swiss counterparts at The Falkirk Stadium on Sunday.
The win meant the young Bravehearts clinched top spot in their UEFA European Challenge group – but victory came at a price for 18-year-old Reilly, as he was forced to hobble off after going over on his ankle.
That means St Mirren manager Danny Lennon will have one less option available as he plots Celtic’s downfall.
Lennon told Express Sports: “Thomas suffered an ankle injury while playing for Scotland, and what we know at this stage is that he won’t be available for the game this weekend.
“We’ll keep an eye on the injury, but not having him fit for the game against Celtic is a blow to us as we’re already carrying a few injuries as it is.”
Lennon also admits that the prospect of his young stars being added to his crock list while playing for their country causes him concern.
He said: “It’s great that we have young players who are being picked for the national teams and going away to gain valuable experience, as you can see the confidence boost it gives them, but there can be a downside too.
“Thomas is a great lad who is hungry to learn, and he approaches every training session as if it’s his last.
“You want him to come back from playing for his country raring to go for St Mirren, so it’s unfortunate when that doesn’t happen.
“When you have a squad which is as close to the bone as we have, and you are producing the kind of young talent that this club is producing, it is a concern when players head out on international duty and come back injured.”
Reilly now joins a growing casualty list at St Mirren Park which includes midfielder Paul McGowan, defender Darren McGregor and young goalkeeper Grant Adam.
Despite the disappointment of picking up an injury, Reilly has taken to social networking site Twitter to tell of his excitement at gaining his fourth international cap at Under-19 level.
He said: “Good to get a win against Switzerland. That’s three in three from our group.
“Brilliant from the boys.”