Kim Little returns to the Scotland women’s squad for the Algarve Cup next month.
The Mintlaw-born midfielder will make her first appearance for the national side since breaking her leg playing for Arsenal against Chelsea in October.
She returned to Super League action this month with the Gunners and has been brought back in by Shelley Kerr for the games against Canada and Iceland. Aberdeen’s Rachel Corsie, the Scotland skipper who missed last month’s La Manga training camp due to work commitments, is also in the squad.
It is an otherwise familiar-looking squad for Kerr, who was a player the last time Scotland entered this tournament 17 years ago.
The Scots have been given a rest day on matchday one before taking on Canada on March 1 and then Iceland on March 4, with a fourth round of fixtures to be decided based on a seeding process involving the other three groups.
Kerr said: “Everyone talks about Kim and her talent on the pitch and so do we. But she’s also a big character; she leads by example.
“I thought she was absolutely outstanding against Man United in the cup last week and she’s been phenomenal in January.
“We could have taken her to La Manga but she got an opportunity to play at her club. She played three games in seven days which is quite unique but that’s testament to her character and her fitness as well.”
The competition is by invite only and is the second international window of the year for Scotland, having played Iceland and Norway last month in La Manga, and it steps up their preparation for the summer’s World Cup in France.
Scotland were drawn in Group D for the World Cup, with their opening game against England in Nice on June 9. They face Japan in Rennes and Argentina in Paris on June 14 and June 19 respectively.
The Algarve Cup has been held every year since 1994. Scotland finished 10th the last time they entered the tournament, which also saw them drawn against Canada in the group stages.
Kerr added: “It’s been a prestigious competition over the years.
“It’s great that we’ve been invited – 12 top teams and we’re ranked ninth out of those, so there’s real competition.
“It’s a great international window in terms of our preparation for the World Cup. We’ve got a few players back in that have been out injured and we’re looking forward to it.”