Belgrade - Borussia Dortmund defender Neven Subotic has turned down Serbia coach Radovan Curcic's request to resume his international career ahead of the national team's crunch Euro 2016 qualifiers, the Balkan nation's football association (FSS) has said.
The 26-year old centre-back last played for Serbia in October 2013, when he walked out on the national team at the end of their futile World Cup 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign.
He tore his knee ligaments a month later but after returning last August, he turned down a call-up by Serbia's former Dutch coach Dick Advocaat, who stepped down in November after only one point from the opening three Euro 2016 qualifiers.
"We had a sincere talk and it's clear that Subotic is not ready to return to the national team at this point in time," Curcic told the FSS official website (www.fss.rs).
"The game against Portugal is coming up soon and I needed to know which players I can count on because we have several options in each position."
Subotic said his priority was to make full recovery from a serious knee injury which sidelined him for nine months last season.
"It's true that I am playing again but I am engaged in daily therapy to further strengthen my knee and it's been assessed that making an international return would not be the best decision for my health at this time," he said.
Serbia are fourth in Group I with one point from three matches ahead of visits to Portugal on March 29 and Denmark on June 13.
Dortmund, who spent much of the current Bundesliga season in the bottom half of Germany's top flight, have moved up to mid-table after a recent run of victories.
They will also try to overturn a 2-1 first leg deficit against Juventus in their Champions League last-16 tie when they host the Italian title holders on March 18.