Hearts midfielder Glenn Whelan has emerged as an injury doubt ahead of Ireland’s upcoming double header against New Zealand and Denmark at the Aviva Stadium.
Whelan was forced off after 25 minutes with a hamstring injury while playing for Hearts in their 3-0 Betfred Cup loss to Rangers over the weekend.
The 35-year-old has been an integral part of the Irish side since he was brought back into the setup by Mick McCarthy at the beginning of his tenure, with Whelan proving to be one of the best players on the park in the defeat to Switzerland three weeks ago.
The full extent of the injury is not yet known but Hearts caretaker boss Austin MacPhee outlined that losing Whelan was a huge blow to his side.
“We knew everything had to go our way today and in the first half, to lose Glenn Whelan so early for us, was a body blow. He’s a very important player for us in situations like this.”
Whelan’s injury is cause for concern in a weekend which also saw Wolves defender Matt Doherty and Sheffield United’s John Egan forced off for their respective clubs.
Egan is fine after suffering from a minor illness, while Doherty aggravated a knee injury he has been carrying for the majority of the season.
“It was my right knee, I just fell on it and I just had that strong deflection. The way my knee is at the moment it is not really that good for it,” he told reporters.
“Obviously if I could have continued, I would have continued. But I just felt like I could not run properly. So it was probably better for me to come off.
McCarthy already knows he will be without Seamus Coleman for the game after the Irish captain saw red in the defeat to Switzerland while goalkeeper Darren Randolph remains a doubt for the clash with Denmark after a knee injury.