Ciaran Clark a doubt for Euro 2020 playoff after suffering ‘serious’ injury
Newcastle defender may miss Ireland's clash with Slovakia next month
Newcastle United’s Irish defender Ciaran Clark is helped from the pitch after picking up an injury at the Emirates Stadium in London. Photograph: Ian Kington/AFP via Getty Images
The 30-year-old picked the injury up late in the game as a result of a challenge by Arsenal teenager Bukayo Saka. He had to be replaced with seven minutes of the game remaining and Steve Bruce suggested afterwards that the problem could well be quite serious.
“He’s got a bad one,” said the Newcastle boss. “It doesn’t look good. By the state of his ankle it looks pretty serious. We’ll know more in next 24 to 48 hours.
“It doesn’t look great, though; the state of his ankle, leaving the ground on crutches. I can’t say now how bad it is but it’s bad enough.”
The loss of Clark for the playoffs would be a significant blow to Mick McCarthy, who already has a major concern about James McClean who was injured playing for Stoke City last week against Preston North End.
With everyone fit, the defender would have been unlikely to start but he has been having a good season with yesterday’s game the 14th of the Premier League season he has featured in and he returned to the Irish team in mid November when he replaced John Egan at half-time in the game against Denmark.
There was better news for McCarthy elsewhere over the weekend, most notably in the form of Callum Robinson’s first goal for West Brom in what was his fourth appearance since he joined the Championship leaders on loan from Sheffield United at the end of January.
McCarthy, who is due to name his squad for the playoffs on March 16th, has repeatedly the emphasised the importance of his key players getting regular first-team football.