Damien Duff is out of Ireland's Euro 2012 qualifier with Macedonia in June as he requires an operation on an Achilles problem.
Giovanni Trapattoni had provisionally included the Fulham midfielder in his 33-man squad for the crunch Skopje clash and the preceding Carling Nations ties with Northern Ireland and Scotland, but the Irish manager admitted yesterday that the Dubliner has no chance of recovering in time.
He will check into hospital next week and faces a three or four-week recuperation period after that -- effectively ending his season.
It's a setback for Trapattoni given that Duff has already missed the first four games of this campaign due to injury. Indeed, his only competitive appearance since the Paris World Cup playoff was when he starred in the Aviva Stadium clash with Macedonia in March.
"A week ago, Damien said maybe he can be present for the game, but the doctor at the club spoke to our doctor and he will go into hospital. They need to clean the Achilles and he will be operated on.
"It's important that we don't cry about this. We have to give the substitutes confidence."
Trapattoni has generally kept to the same group of players for the summer fixtures. Wolves' Stephen Ward has been called up and could win a first cap. Fitness problems denied the former Bohemians star a call-up this time last year.
Caleb Folan, now with MLS side Colorado Rapids, is called in, while Millwall 'keeper David Forde keeps his place ahead of Joe Murphy. Sean St Ledger, Darren O'Dea, Keith Andrews and Kevin Doyle are also named, despite injury concerns, and Keiren Westwood is another doubt. Shay Given is fit, however.
There's no room for Norwich star Wes Hoolahan, but West Brom attacker Simon Cox may be drafted in if paperwork to confirm his Irish status is received in time.