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Republic's Jeff Hendrick to be assessed on Monday as he battles thigh problem

Jeff Hendrick could yet play a part in the Republic of Ireland's crunch World Cup qualifier against Serbia on Tuesday night as he battles his way back from injury.

The 25-year-old Burnley midfielder missed Saturday night's 1-1 Group D draw in Georgia with a thigh problem, but underwent a session with the Football Association of Ireland's medical team in Dublin on Sunday afternoon and will be further assessed on Monday.

Hendrick emerged as one of his country's key players during last summer's Euro 2016 finals campaign and his absence in Tbilisi was a major blow.

Striker David McGoldrick was another man who was not on the plane to Eastern Europe after attending the birth of his latest child.

Manager Martin O'Neill admitted on Friday that he might consider calling up a replacement if McGoldrick was unable to meet up for the second leg of the double-header, with Preston's Sean Maguire among those under consideration.

However, his name was not included in a revised list issued on Sunday evening and O'Neill has opted not to bolster his squad further.

The Republic party headed straight back to Dublin during the early hours of Sunday morning after a poor performance at the Boris Paichadze Stadium. They took the lead through Shane Duffy's early header, but emerged with only a point as Georgia threatened to take all three.

Their disappointment was compounded by Serbia's win over Moldova, which extended the leaders' advantage at the top of the group to two points, while Wales reduced the gap to second-placed Ireland to the same margin with victory against Austria.

O'Neill's men travel to Wales in their final qualifier next month after home clashes with Serbia and Moldova and, although they remain unbeaten in the campaign, their progress has stalled somewhat after three successive draws.

The manager has admitted they will have to beat Serbia if they are to have any real chance of winning the group, while even the prospect of claiming a play-off spot could recede if they do not emerge victorious on Tuesday evening.

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