The Republic of Ireland are facing mounting selection problems ahead of their UEFA EURO 2012 play-off against Estonia, with West Bromwich Albion FC forward Shane Long becoming the latest player ruled out by injury.
Long suffered a knee injury during West Brom's 2-1 Premier League victory at Aston Villa FC on Saturday and the club issued a statement on Monday declaring the player likely to be out of action until December.
"Shane Long could face up to six weeks on the sidelines after a scan confirmed the extent of the knee injury he suffered at Villa," read the statement, which went on to describe "severe bone bruising and a small bone chip inside his right knee".
With Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni already without Wolverhampton Wanderers FC striker Kevin Doyle for the first leg in Tallinn through suspension, the Italian now looks certain to be deprived of in-form Long for both the 11 November fixture and the Dublin return leg four days later.
Meanwhile, captain and record goalscorer Robbie Keane remains a serious doubt because of an adductor muscle injury sustained while playing in the 2-0 Group B qualifying victory in Andorra on 7 October.
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