Scotland international Michael Stewart would not be surprised if Barry Ferguson represents his country again.
The Scottish Football Association announced on Friday that Ferguson and Rangers team-mate Allan McGregor would no longer be considered for selection.
The pair were also handed a two-week suspension by their club after they flicked V-signs while sitting on the bench ahead of Scotland’s 2-1 win over Iceland, after being dropped for indulging in a Sunday-morning drinking session.
Their Ibrox careers also appear to be under threat but Stewart believes their lifetime Scotland bans could be withdrawn when the furore dies down.
The Hearts midfielder said: “Stranger things have happened than for Barry to be reinstated.
“I don’t see any reason why it shouldn’t happen in the future.
“He’s a fantastic footballer and over the course of his career he has done exceptionally well for club and country.
“Obviously with that moment of madness, especially in Scotland, we love to vilify people.
“Inevitably, in a year’s time or whenever, things will die down and I wouldn’t be surprised if it was to happen.”
In the meantime there is a gap in Scotland’s midfield ahead of the World Cup qualifier against Norway in Oslo on August 12.
Stewart won his fourth cap during last year’s 0-0 draw against Northern Ireland, six years after his third.
But the 28-year-old is not spending much time or energy thinking about adding to his tally.
“I think anyone wants to play for the national team but it’s not something I give a great deal of thought to,” Stewart told BBC Scotland.
“Performing week in, week out for Hearts and making sure we finish as high up the league, and also the idea of winning things at Hearts, is what really gets my blood boiling and temperature rising inside me.
“Inevitably, if that was to happen, then the Scotland thing comes on the back of it.
“Rather than worrying about the end result, I’m concentrating on the things that might make that happen.”