Jeff Hendrick loses fitness battle to face Serbia

Jeff Hendrick will not play in Republic of Ireland's crunch World Cup qualifier against Serbia at the Aviva Stadium tomorrow.

The Burnley midfielder, who missed Saturday's 1-1 draw in Georgia with a thigh problem, worked with the Football Association of Ireland's medical team on Sunday as his injury was assessed, before he underwent another scan this morning.

Ireland boss Martin O'Neil had hoped to have Hendrick, one of his star men at last summer's Euro 2016 finals, available for a game which could go a long way towards determining Ireland's qualification hopes.

The rest of the squad trained at Abbotstown today knowing defeat is not an option and perhaps victory will allow them to continue to dream of automatic qualification with the Serbians now two points clear at the top of Group D.

They did so with skipper Seamus Coleman, who is closing in on a return from the double leg fracture he suffered in March, looking on from the sidelines.


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