AIDEN McGeady looks set to miss Ireland's August friendly against Croatia after being ruled out for two months with an ankle injury.
The winger faces a race to be fit for the key qualifiers against Russia and Slovakia in September after his ligament damage was revealed to be worse than first thought.
The Glasgow-born winger picked up the injury in Spartak Moscow's scoreless draw with Rubin Kazan last Friday and initially he was thought to be out for a fortnight.
But it has emerged that the 25-year-old has damaged his ligaments and while he will not require surgery, he will miss much of the Russian season in which Spartak are struggling in eighth place.
Giovanni Trapattoni will be a keen observer of his progress, with Ireland's key Euro 2012 clashes just 11 weeks away. McGeady started in Ireland's 2-0 away win against Macedonia in Skopje and although he missed the three end-of-season friendly wins due to club commitments, he has been first choice in all of Ireland's Euro 2012 qualifiers so far.
The news will come as a blow to the player who had been linked with a move to the Premier League, with the duration of the lay-off taking him out of the shop window at a crucial time.