Belfast Telegraph

Bad break for Jamie on eve of key World Cup showdown

By Graham Luney

Jamie Ward looks set to miss Northern Ireland's double-header this month after fracturing his wrist.

The Nottingham Forest ace picked up the injury playing on loan for Nigel Clough's Burton Albion and it means he will definitely miss the World Cup qualifier against Azerbaijan at Windsor Park on Friday night and possibly the home friendly against Croatia the following Tuesday.

"He's fractured his wrist - we don't quite know how badly, but he's definitely broken it, fractured it or done something," said Clough. "So he'll be out for a few weeks. He obviously won't be going away with Northern Ireland. He'll get an operation, have it set and then the good thing is he can play with a cast.

"With these lightweight casts they do, as soon as we think it's appropriate (he'll be back). I think Kasper Schmeichel broke his hand and he's going to be four to six weeks - and he's a goalie. So we hope it's not going to be too much longer than that."

Ward suffered the injury early on against the Tykes, going down away from play, clutching his wrist.

Leeds midfielder Stuart Dallas could also be out of Friday's showdown because of a calf injury. Northern Ireland boss Michael O'Neill said Dallas was "extremely doubtful" for the game.

Meanwhile, Celtic captain Scott Brown is a doubt for Scotland's World Cup qualifier against England at Wembley on Friday night.

The Hoops midfielder, who came out of retirement to help the Scots' ailing qualification hopes, came off with a numb foot just after the hour mark of Celtic's 3-0 Ladbrokes Premiership win over Inverness at Celtic Park.

Belfast Telegraph


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