Republic of Ireland’s preparations for Friday’s World Cup qualifier against Wales have been hit by the news Wes Hoolahan has been ruled out with a thigh strain.
With star man Robbie Brady already suspended for Friday night’s showdown at the Aviva Stadium, and first-choice central defensive pairing Shane Duffy and Ciaran Clark, as well as midfielder Harry Arter, ruled out through injury it is an unwelcome development for Republic of Ireland boss Martin O’Neill.
Everton midfielder James McCarthy, who has missed his club’s last two games with a hamstring injury, was due to meet up later on Monday, as was Colorado Rapids striker Kevin Doyle.
And as the Republic squad trained for the first time in Abbotstown on Monday morning, O’Neill admitted the growing injury list is a big concern.
Seamus Coleman and Jonathan Hayes are both nursing ankle problems, but are expected to be fit, while Newcastle striker Daryl Murphy was due to have a scan on a calf problem in Dublin.
O’Neill said: “It’s the lengthiest list of injuries we’ve had in my time here. Unfortunately it has happened at a real crucial time for us. However, other players will have to step up and be ready for Friday.
“Seamus Coleman has picked up a knock. If he doesn’t train tomorrow he’ll train Wednesday. We’ll see how James McCarthy is.
“Wes Hoolahan will be out of the game. The scan came back this morning. It’s bad news for us and for his club.
“Daryl Murphy is giving himself a chance. He’s not ruled out yet. We’ll see what happens with the scan.”
Unbeaten Ireland currently top Group D with 10 points from their opening four qualifiers with the Welsh four points behind in third place.