Republic of Ireland forward Aaron Connolly has been ruled out of Saturday’s crunch World Cup qualifier with Luxembourg after further injury problems for the Galway native away to Serbia on Wednesday.
The Brighton & Hove Albion striker started for Stephen Kenny’s side in their 3-2 loss away to Serbia despite missing a number of games for his club prior to the international break due to a rib injury.
The 21-year-old was substituted midway through the second half in Belgrade as a result of cramp and will now return to his club. He will also miss Ireland’s friendly with Qatar next week.
Connolly adds to an ever-growing list of injury woes for Ireland boss Stephen Kenny. Darren Randolph, Caoimhin Kelleher, John Egan, Kevin Long, James McCarthy, Callum O’Dowda, Conor Hourihane and Jack Byrne were all unavailable for this international window due to injury concerns.
It seems almost certain that either veteran striker Shane Long or James Collins, who came off the bench to score his first goal for Ireland on Wednesday, will be tasked with replacing Connolly and partnering Callum Robinson for tomorrow’s crucial tie at home to Luxembourg.