Belfast Telegraph

Jordan Jones among four injury problems for Northern Ireland ahead of international window

 

Red mist: Jordan Jones is sent off at Ibrox
Red mist: Jordan Jones is sent off at Ibrox
Jordan Jones leaves the stadium in crutches

Jordan Jones is set to be ruled out of Northern Ireland's crucial Euro 2020 qualifier against Germany.

Striker Paul Smyth has withdrawn from the squad, Hearts defender Michael Smith is struggling with a hamstring injury and Liam Boyce is facing 'a few weeks' on the sidelines after coming off during Burton's win over Bristol Rovers on Saturday, also with a hamstring issue.

However, the biggest setback for Northern Ireland boss Michael O'Neill was Jones' injury after his reckless late tackle in Rangers' 2-0 home defeat to Neil Lennon's Celtic yesterday.

The midfielder left Ibrox on crutches following his dismissal for a horror tackle on Celtic debutant Moritz Bauer.

Northern Ireland face Luxembourg in a friendly at Windsor Park on Thursday before Germany visit for a tasty Group C clash on Monday.

Boyce was withdrawn after 76 minutes in Burton's 2-0 home win on Saturday, with club boss Nigel Clough suggesting his star striker has no chance of appearing for Northern Ireland.

"Boyce has done his hamstring, so there was no chance of him continuing," he said. "I don't know how long he'll be out for, we'll get him scanned. But it will be a few weeks, I'd have thought."

Should Boyce withdraw from the panel, it leaves Northern Ireland with Josh Magennis, Conor Washington and Shayne Lavery, called in to replace Smyth, as the three forward options for the friendly against Luxembourg and Euro 2020 qualifier at home to Germany.

The high-profile omission from the panel, of course, was Kyle Lafferty, who was sent off on his debut for Norwegian side Sarpsborg 08 on Sunday.

"We'll monitor that situation and see how the week develops because there's always the option to call him in but the main thing is that he gets playing with his new club," Michael O'Neill had said last week.

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