Tuesday 19 June 2018

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Joshua King injury blow for Norway ahead of Northern Ireland clash

Joshua King has scored five times in this qualification campaign
Joshua King has scored five times in this qualification campaign

Bournemouth striker Joshua King will miss Norway's final World Cup qualifier against Northern Ireland due to a hamstring injury.

King scored twice in his country's 8-0 win over San Marino on Thursday but came off around the hour-mark and has now confirmed he will not be risked for Sunday's encounter with Northern Ireland in Oslo.

The 25-year-old has netted five times in these qualifiers, more than any other Norwegian or Northern Irish player, but Lars Lagerback's side already know there is no chance of them qualifying.

"I felt my hamstring during the game (on Thursday) and in view of my history, we do not take any chances," King told NFF TV.

"Myself, Lars and the medical team have discussed and agreed that I'm going home to get back (to fitness) as early as possible."

Former Hearts striker Bjorn Johnsen, who scored six goals in 37 appearances during his 12-month spell at Tynecastle, has been called up to replace King.

Bournemouth face Tottenham at Wembley in seven days' time and Eddie Howe will have been worried to hear last season's top scorer King had ice on the problem area after the San Marino game.

Yet Lagerback believes King caught the problem early enough that he should be available for his club straight after the international break.

"The medical team said it was a minor injury so they thought it shouldn't take more than four, five days," the Swede added.

"He felt it very quickly and according to them they don't think it's anything serious.

"I don't know if I should hang out our medical team but they said it was a minor injury. I'm not an expert but as they said I think there's a good chance (of him playing against Tottenham) anyway."

Spurs were one of the teams linked with ex-Manchester United youth-team player King before he signed a new deal with the Cherries in the summer.

He scored 16 Premier League goals last season and Lagerback has no doubt he could thrive with a side higher up the division if he were to move in the future.

"He has really good qualities," he said.

"He's physically strong, he's very quick, both with and without the ball, and his finishing technique is really good. Yes, I think he has a fair chance to play in a top-six club."

Press Association

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