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Joey O'Brien set for three months out with dislocated shoulder

Defender will miss Ireland’s friendly against Serbia and most of the Premier League run-in.

O'Brien: dogged defending helped West Ham to a scoreless draw and a vital point against Chelsea.
O'Brien: dogged defending helped West Ham to a scoreless draw and a vital point against Chelsea.
Image: Alastair Grant/AP/Press Association Images

JOEY O’BRIEN’S INJURY jinx struck again last night.

The Dubliner dislocated his shoulder during West Ham’s scoreless draw against Chelsea and is expected to miss 10 to 12 weeks.

That rules him out of Ireland’s friendly against Serbia on 5 March and most of the Hammers’ Premier League run-in.

Sam Allardyce’s side edged towards safety last night with a stubborn defensive display that Jose Mourinho slammed as “19th century football.”

With no substitutions left to replace O’Brien, they were forced to play the final minutes with 10 men but clung on for the draw that moves them up to 18th, two points from safety.

“It ended up with about seven or eight minutes injury time after the delays,” Allardyce said afterwards. “From our point of view, it was a great performance.”

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O’Brien, 27, spent almost three seasons battling the knee injuries that threatened to end his career but after returning to fitness, he was handed an international recall by interim manager Noel King for the qualifiers against Germany and Kazakhstan last year.

He then pulled a hamstring in the warm-up for the November friendly against Latvia, Martin O’Neill’s first game in charge, and was forced to withdraw from the trip to Poland a few days later.

He has been a regular in West Ham’s defence since and with 19 club appearances this season, he would have hoped to impress Ireland’s new management in their first game of 2014.

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Niall Kelly

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