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Shane Long in a race to be fit for Ireland's qualifiers

Long was the victim of a crunching tackle during Ireland's clash with Poland
Long was the victim of a crunching tackle during Ireland's clash with Poland

Southampton manager Ronald Koeman confirmed that Shane Long is facing as least a fortnight on the sidelines after picking up an ankle ligament injury in the 2-1 defeat to Poland on Sunday.

Having earlier earned a penalty to get Ireland level, Long was the victim of a crunching tackle and was replaced by Robbie Keane in Warsaw.

Initial reports suggested that Long's injury was not as bad as feared and that he would be fit for the two legs of the play-off between November 12-17 but Koeman's prognosis is a little bit more worrying.

"The only injury we get from international duty was Shane Long... ankle ligaments. He'll be out, we expect, for two to four weeks," he said.

"It's a disappointment but it's part of football."

The draw for the play-offs takes place on Sunday with Ireland set to face either Sweden, Bosnia, Ukraine or Hungary.