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Freak injury leaves Sean Maguire a doubt for upcoming Irish internationals

‘It’s the most bizarre injury I have seen before’, said Preston manager Alex Neil.

Sean Maguire at an Irish training camp in Portugal in May.
Sean Maguire at an Irish training camp in Portugal in May.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

SEAN MAGUIRE IS likely to miss Ireland’s Euro 2020 qualifier against Switzerland in Dublin on Thursday having sustained a freak injury at Preston training earlier this week. 

The striker missed today’s 1-1 draw with Nottingham Forest having been hit in the face by a football at training on Thursday, and manager Alex Neil explained the smack’s unusual ramifications. 

“It’s the most bizarre injury I have seen before”, Neil told the club’s website after today’s game.

“It happened on Thursday and the ball has ricochet and hit him in the eye and it’s caused a bleed in his eye and the pressure is double of that of his other eye. It can be significant so we have to be careful.

“The advice is for him to have two weeks rest because an increase in blood pressure can cause more damage so we will be careful with that.”

A two-week layoff would mean Maguire pulling out of the Irish camp for Thursday’s crunch qualifier with the Swiss and the friendly with Bulgaria at the Aviva the following Tuesday. His potential absence could open the door for Shane Long, who was cut from McCarthy’s initial 40-man squad earlier this week over a lack of game time at Southampton. 

Long, however, made a Premier League matchday squad this afternoon for the first time this season, and played the last half-hour of Southampton’s 1-1 draw with Manchester United. Long has fallen behind compatriot Michael Obafemi in the pecking order at St Mary’s, but an injury to the teenage striker gave Long an opportunity to play today. 

That injury to Obafemi has caused him to pull out of Stephen Kenny’s U21s squad for upcoming qualifiers with Armenia and Sweden. Stoke centre-back Nathan Collins has also withdrawn from Kenny’s squad because of an injury, and the pair have been replaced by Ross County winger Simon Power and Southampton defender Kameron Ledwidge. 

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Gavin Cooney

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