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Craig Cathcart withdraws from Northern Ireland squad

Northern Ireland have announced defender Craig Cathcart has withdrawn from their squad for the forthcoming World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and the Czech Republic due to a knee problem.

Watford centre-back Cathcart sustained the injury on Saturday in the Hornets' 0-0 Premier League draw against Brighton at Vicarage Road, which saw the 28-year-old come on as a first-half substitute before being forced off again shortly after half-time.

Hearts defender Michael Smith, who has one international cap to his name, has been called up as a replacement for Cathcart, while Leeds goalkeeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell has also been added to the squad.

Michael O'Neill's men, currently second in World Cup Qualifying Group C, face San Marino away on Friday before hosting the Czech Republic three days later.

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