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Dublin: 5°C Friday 5 March 2021

An anxious wait for Ireland as Shane Long is 'progressing well' but still misses out for Saints

The striker picked up an ankle injury against Poland and is a big doubt for Bosnia play-off.

Image: Donall Farmer/INPHO

SHANE LONG HAS got two weeks to get himself back to full fitness but although he is ‘progressing well’ with his recovery from an ankle injury, he will miss Southampton’s derby clash with Bournemouth this weekend.

Ronald Koeman gave an update on the striker at his Friday press conference.

“Shane Long is progressing well but is not good enough to play this weekend”, said the Saints manager.

The Republic of Ireland make the trip to Bosnia for the first leg of their Euro 2016 play-off on 13th November and are already without the suspended duo of John O’Shea and Jon Walters for the game.

Losing a high-energy attacker and goal threat would be another huge blow.

Still, Irish boss Martin O’Neill has named Long in his provisional squad, despite thinking it’s ‘touch and go’ whether or not the 28-year-old will be fit in time.

I spoke to him last week and he is optimistic, but he has always been optimistic regardless. Sometimes these injuries are going along very nicely and then you have four or five days where nothing happens and you think, ‘Have I spoken too soon?’ He’s optimistic he can make it.”

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Eoin O'Callaghan

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