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Ireland winger James McClean set to miss World Cup qualifier against Serbia

James McClean injury

McClean could miss ‘four to six weeks’ according to Stoke boss Michael O’Neill.

James McClean is expected to miss the start of the Republic Ireland’s World Cup 2022 qualifying campaign.

McClean was not involved in Stoke’s defeats to Barnsley and Brentford, with Potters boss Michael O’Neill confirming the 31-year-old has suffered a foot injury that may rule him out for “four to six weeks”.

“McClean had an injection on a foot injury so the time frame for him is four to six weeks,” O’Neill via StokeonTrentLive.

James McClean injury

James McClean injury.

Ireland begin their World Cup qualifying campaign away to Serbia on March 24 before hosting Luxembourg three days later.

They will also play Qatar on March 30 after the World Cup hosts were added to their qualifying group on a non-competitive basis.

Earlier this week, McClean’s wife, Erin, posted a photo on Instagram showing the former Sunderland and West Brom wideman in a protective boot.

Ireland boss Stephen Kenny is hoping the World Cup qualifiers can help transform his fortunes since taking over from Mick McCarthy.

Kenny is yet to secure his first win as Ireland boss having overseen four draws and four defeats in his eight games in charge.

McClean, who has 73 caps has been a regular under Kenny although the former Derry City man was sent off for two bookable offences in the Nations League draw with Wales in October.

James McClean injury

News of McClean’s injury is a further blow for Kenny, who will also be without injured pair John Egan and Callum O’Dowda.

The Ireland boss has, however, been boosted by the addition of highly-rated Chelsea coach Anthony Barry to his backroom team.

Barry, who will combine his Ireland role with his coaching duties at Stamford Bridge, was confirmed as Damien Duff’s replacement after the former Chelsea winger stepped down from his position as assistant coach in January.

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