Jamie McGrath suffers hip injury and is stretchered off for St Mirren

Ireland under-21 international Connor Ronan had earlier given St Mirren the lead with stunning strike

Republic of Ireland midfielder Jamie McGrath was taken off the pitch on a stretcher after suffering a hip injury late on in St Mirren’s home Scottish Premiership game against Rangers on Sunday.

Having used all three substitutes, Saints played out the closing minutes with 10 men as they went down to a 2-1 defeat against Rangers, who went back to the top of the league.

St Mirren manager Jim Goodwin said: “We are not sure at the moment but Jamie wouldn’t go down and certainly wouldn’t come off on a stretcher if it wasn’t serious.

“He will go for a scan [on Monday] and we will say our prayers that hopefully it is nothing too serious.

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“Hindsight is a great thing and now we wish we would have taken him off immediately but we didn’t realise it was as serious as it was.”

The former Dundalk player has become a key player for Ireland manager Stephen Kenny but now looks set for a spell on the sideline that looks likely to rule him out of the November World Cup qualifiers against Portugal at home and away to Luxembourg.

The game had started in brilliant fashion for the home team when Ireland under-21 international Connor Ronan scored a contender for goal of the season from long distance.

But two goals in a minute just before the break put the defending champions back in charge with Kemar Roofe firing home a penalty before Alfredo Morelos swiftly followed up with a second.