Ryan Byrne/INPHO
# Russia 2018
Bad news for Ireland as Southampton confirm Long injury blow
The striker sustained a broken metatarsal during the Saints’ win over Middlesbrough last weekend.

SHANE LONG IS set to miss the Republic of Ireland’s crucial World Cup qualifier at home to Austria next month.

Southampton have confirmed this afternoon that the striker sustained a broken metatarsal in their 2-1 win against Middlesbrough last weekend, a game in which he set up one goal before missing a penalty.

As well as being ruled out of the Saints’ final game of the season against Stoke City on Sunday, Long is now also in line to be unavailable for his country in the coming weeks.

On Monday, the 30-year-old Tipperary native was one of six forwards — along with Jonathan Walters, Kevin Doyle, Daryl Murphy, David McGoldrick and Adam Rooney — named in the Ireland squad for the visit of Austria to Dublin on 11 June, as well as the friendlies against Mexico and Uruguay.

Long has endured a difficult season at club level, scoring just three Premier League goals — the most recent of which came in February.

Nevertheless, his absence will be a blow to manager Martin O’Neill for such a key fixture in the campaign to qualify for next summer’s tournament in Russia.

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