Friday 19 January 2018

Doubts emerge over Aiden McGeady’s availability for World Cup qualifiers

Aiden McGeady is a doubt for Ireland's upcoming World Cup qualifiers
Aiden McGeady is a doubt for Ireland's upcoming World Cup qualifiers

Aiden McGeady has emerged as an injury concern ahead of Ireland’s crucial World Cup qualifiers against Sweden and Austria with a lingering knee injury.

McGeady was omitted from the Spartak Moscow squad for the weekend’s 3-1 victory over Terek Grozny with coach Valery Karpin revealing that he has yet to recover from a knee injury.

The Glasgow-born winger looked certain to start on the right side of midfield in Stockholm after Norwich star Anthony Pilkington was ruled out of the game after picking up a hamstring strain at the weekend.

Pilkington suffered a recurrence of his left hamstring injury in the Canaries’ weekend Premier League 0-0 draw against Southampton at Carrow Road.

The 24-year-old started the game with a precautionary strapping on his leg but was substituted after only 35 minutes following a challenge from Maya Yoshida.

Pilkington had previously been forced to pull out of the Republic’s last squad for what would have been his first senior cap in February’s Dublin friendly win over Poland after injuring his hamstring in Norwich’s goalless league draw at QPR.

City’s medical staff will assess the extent of Pilkington’s latest injury blow over the coming days, but the wide midfielder appears certain to miss the club’s upcoming league fixtures following confirmation from the Football Association of Ireland on Sunday he had pulled out of Giovanni Trapattoni’s initial 29-man party.

Club officials have yet to confirm how long Pilkington is likely to be out but the Republic are scheduled to play World Cup qualifiers against Sweden in Stockholm on March 22 followed by a home fixture against Austria four days later.

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