James McCarthy has torn his hamstring, and is a major doubt for Ireland’s trip to Vienna.
The Everton midfielder sustained the injury in training, and is unlikely to be fit in time for Ireland’s World Cup qualifying clash with Austria.
The 25 year oldÂ had groin surgery in the summer, and has only made a handful of appearances for the Toffees this season.
Last month, his Everton boss Ronald Koeman urged Ireland to “protect” the player ahead of the international break, and later accused Martin O’Neill of “overloading“Â the midfielder.
Shane Long is also struggling with a hamstring injury, as he limped off in Southampton’s 1-0 defeat to Inter Milan in Italy last Thursday.
McCarthy’s likely absence will free up a starting position in midfield, and Bournemouth’s in-formÂ Harry Arter could be the man to benefit.
Arter has yet to make his competitive debut for the boys in green.
Ireland currently sit second in the group behind Serbia on goal difference ahead of next month’s trip to Austria.