Pedro Caixinha has been handed a boost ahead of Glasgow Rangers’ match against St. Johnstone on Friday night, after Portugal left Bruno Alves on the substitutes’ bench last night.
Caixinha stressed in the week that he was concerned that Alves would be too fatigued to play for Rangers in their next outing.
However, the veteran defender was not selected to start for his country in their crucial match against Switzerland yesterday.
Portugal needed to beat the Swiss to book their place at the World Cup in Russia, and they managed to complete their task by winning 2-0.
Rangers man Alves did not feature at all in the contest, which means he should now be fully fresh when he returns to Ibrox.
That should be a boost for Rangers, with their players having little time to recover from the international break.
Rangers kick off the Scottish footballing weekend, when they face St. Johnstone in two days’ time.
If Rangers can win the fixture, they will move to within three points of the top of the Scottish Premiership table.