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James McClean doubtful for Slovakia play-off after winger ruled out for 'several weeks' with knee injury

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James McClean. Photo: Sportsfile

James McClean. Photo: Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

James McClean. Photo: Sportsfile

JAMES McClean has emerged as a fresh injury doubt for next month's Euro 2020 playoff in Slovakia as Stoke City have confirmed that the Derry native will be missing for a matter of weeks.

McClean suffered a knee injury in a midweek Championship defeat to Preston and he will be out for a spell, as the club admitted, and although they did not put a firm timeline on his absence, his fitness will be a worry for Mick McCarthy.

"Stoke City can confirm that James McClean is facing several weeks on the sidelines and that Thibaud Verlinden will miss the remainder of the campaign after they both sustained injuries in last night’s defeat by Preston," Stoke said in a statement.

"McClean has a medial ligament knee injury, whilst Verlinden – who had to be withdrawn from the action just five minutes after joining the action as a substitute – has an ACL knee ligament injury."

McClean is a key figure in Mick McCarthy's Ireland squad and was certain to start in the playoff semi-final in Bratislava, which is six weeks away. McCarthy already has to cope with the lack of first team football for No. 1 keeper Darren Randolph at West Ham.

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