Shane Long set to miss Ireland fixtures due to ankle surgery
Martin O’Neill’s striking options limited for Northern Ireland and Denmark clashes
Shane Long is facing ankle surgery and up to six weeks on the sidelines. Photograph: Alex Livesey/Getty
Shane Long looks set to miss Ireland’s fixtures against Northern Ireland and Denmark, with the Southampton striker facing ankle surgery.
Long was left out of the Saints’ squad for Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Watford at St Mary’s.
And manager Mark Hughes confirmed the 31-year-old could be facing up to six weeks on the sidelines.
He said: “If he does have the procedure, and it’s not confirmed as yet that he will, it could be a little bit of washout to free out the ankle. That would be two weeks maybe.
“If it’s a little bit more significant then it could be four to six weeks. We will see.”
Long’s injury leaves Martin O’Neill with a paucity of striking options for Thursday’s Aviva Stadium friendly, and then next week’s crunch Nations League trip to play the Danes.
Among the other forwards in O’Neill’s squad are Callum Robinson, Aiden O’Brien, Seán Maguire and Scott Hogan - who have a combined 12 caps between them - and the uncapped duo of Ronan Curtis and Michael Obafemi.