James McCarthy in doubt for Ireland qualifiers after injury setback

Manchester United's Bruno Fernandes and Crystal Palace's James McCarthy (right) battle for the ball during the Premier League match at Selhurst Park, London. Picture date: Wednesday March 3, 2021.
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James Cox

James McCarthy is a doubt for the Republic of Ireland's opening World Cup qualifiers after he went off injured in Crystal Palace's 0-0 draw with Manchester United last night.

McCarthy, who went almost four years without playing international football due to injuries before he returned under Stephen Kenny at the end of 2020, has picked up another problem.

The midfielder was forced off in the second half of Palace’s stalemate with United after returning following a month on the sidelines with a groin issue.

McCarthy, 30, made his first start since January 30th against Wolves where he was also withdrawn prematurely.

Crystal Palace's James McCarthy reacts after picking up an injury during the Premier League match at Selhurst Park, London. Picture date: Saturday January 30, 2021.

Palace boss Roy Hodgson said: “Yes it’s a concern because the injury which kept him out was an injury in the groin region and he felt it again.

“It is a major concern and if it turns out he can’t play in the next couple of games, it will be a major blow for us because I thought he did very well in the 60 minutes he played.


“He is a player we would like to see available but he is another in the course of the season who has missed a lot of games for injury or personal reasons.”

Ireland start their campaign with an away clash against Serbia on March 24th followed by a game against Luxembourg at the Aviva Stadium three days later.

James McClean and John Egan will both miss the games due to injuries.

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