Jonny Evans is facing a race against time to be fit for Northern Ireland’s Euro 2012 qualifier against Serbia on March 25.
The Manchester United defender has been ruled out for four weeks with an ankle injury he suffered during training ahead of the Carling Nations Cup game against Scotland last week.
It’s another setback for the Newtownabbey-man who has struggled with his form and fitness this season.
Northern Ireland missed his wealth of Premier League experience last Wednesday as Nigel Worthington’s side crashed to a 3-0 defeat at the Aviva Stadium.
The Euro 2012 qualifier at the Red Star Stadium in Belgrade will be attended by only 200 Northern Ireland fans after Uefa ordered the game to be played behind closed doors.
Meanwhile, United look certain to be the first Premier League club to break the £100million barrier for commercial revenue alone.
The most recent three-monthly accounts showed revenues rising to £24million over the first quarter of the accounting year.
Roy Carroll looks set to be handed the Premier League return that he craves by signing for injury-hit Blackpool.
The Northern Ireland international is a free agent after agreeing his release from Danish club Odense last month and he is now ready to answer Ian Holloway’s SOS call.
Carroll has been hoping to secure a contract with a club in England, with his family remaining in their home near London while he was playing in Denmark for the last 18 months.