Shane Long emerges as a major doubt for Ireland's crucial World Cup qualifier against Austria
Shane Long has emerged as a major doubt for Ireland's crunch World Cup qualifier against Austria in the Aviva Stadium on June 11.
Long missed Southampton's 0-0 draw with Manchester United last night after he picked up a foot injury against Middlesbrough last weekend and the Irish Daily Star has reported the frontman will see a specialist today to assess the damage.
Long was one of six strikers named in Martin O'Neill's 38-man squad for the forthcoming international matches that will see the Boys In Green play friendlies against Mexico in America on June 1 and Uruguay in Dublin on June 4 before the Austrian clash.
Should Long fail to make it, O'Neill could opt to choose another striker to join Kevin Doyle, David McGoldrick, Daryl Murphy, Jon Walters and Adam Rooney.
There has been plenty of talk about the merits of a call up for Cork City's Sean Maguire while Cillian Sheridan, currently in good form with Polish side Jagiellonia Bialystok, could also be another option.
When asked about Maguire earlier this week, O'Neill said: "It's good to see Maguire doing well, but there are a few players ahead of him in terms of experience."
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