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Dublin: 2 °C Friday 17 January, 2020
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Shane Long in a real race to be fit for Ireland's Euro 2016 play-offs

The striker’s club boss Ronald Koeman expects him to be out for between two to four weeks.

Long goes down holding his ankle in Warsaw.
Long goes down holding his ankle in Warsaw.
Image: Donall Farmer/INPHO

IRELAND MANAGER MARTIN O’Neill will have a nervy wait to see if Shane Long can recover in time to feature in next month’s Euro 2016 play-offs.

After coming off the bench to score the winning goal in Ireland’s historic victory over Germany, the striker was named in the starting line-up for the final group game against Poland last Sunday.

However, he lasted 55 minutes before coming off with an ankle injury.

This afternoon, Southampton manager Ronald Koeman stated that they expects the 28-year-old to be out for two to four weeks.

“The only injury that we have from the international duty is Shane Long,” Koeman said.

It is ankle ligaments and we expect him to be out for two to four weeks. That’s a disappointment but it’s part of football.”

With the first leg to take place on 12/13/14 November and the return leg three days later, Long is now in a race to regain his fitness.

Ireland are already without suspended pair John O’Shea and Jon Walters for the opening tie.

The Boys in Green will discover the identity of their opponents  – one of Ukraine, Sweden, Bosnia & Herzegovina or Hungary — at this Sunday’s draw in Nyon.

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Ben Blake

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