Republic of Ireland facing striker crisis

Ireland striker Shane Long is almost certain to miss Ireland’s crucial two legged play off game against Estonia after suffering severe bone bruising, and a small bone chip, inside his right knee from a terrible tackle from Alan Hutton.

The West Brom forward suffered the injury midway through the first half after Hutton recklessly hurled himself at Long and could have injured Long even worse with what West Brom manager Roy Hodgson described as a ‘horrific tackle’

“It will be very interesting to see what the experts think but I thought it was an appalling tackle,” Hodgson insisted.

“Shane’s lucky not to have two broken legs. He has a serious knee injury I would think.”

Long himself was fuming after the match saying “It could have been a lot worse. I was lucky my foot came out of the ground, if I was standing on it I’m sure he would have snapped my leg in two.

“He didn’t even get a yellow. If the ref had seen it I’m sure he might have had a different reaction I just hope they can do something about it now.”

Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni is already without the suspended Kevin Doyle for the first play-off due to suspension and is now expected to turn to the duo of Simon Cox and Robbie Keane for the November games.


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