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Hip injury could force Jamie McGrath out of Ireland’s World Cup double-header next month

Stephen Kenny is facing up to the strong possibility of being deprived of the services of Jamie McGrath for November’s double-header after he was stretchered off in St Mirren’s defeat to Rangers with a hip injury.

he Meathman was stretchered off in the dying stages of his side’s 2-1 defeat, a game that was earlier enlivened by a stunning strike by his team-mate Connor Ronan, the ex-Ireland U-21 international.

McGrath played a key role in both of Ireland’s October games, starring off the bench in the win over Azerbaijan in Baku before impressing in the home thrashing of Qatar as a versatile link between midfield and attack.

His absence from the November 11 (Portugal) and November 14 (Luxembourg) matches would be a major disappointment for Kenny.

St Mirren boss Jim Goodwin admitted he was worried with a Monday scan to determine the seriousness.

“We are not sure, but Jamie would not go down, and would not go off on a stretcher, if it wasn’t serious,” he said.

“He will go for a scan tomorrow (Monday) and we will say our prayers that it’s nothing too serious.

“Initially he took a bang and we thought it was a dead leg or he was winded. But it was on his hip.

“He was struggling but we had made all our substitutions and we wanted him to try and get through it.

“But hindsight is a wonderful thing. I wish we had taken him off immediately but I didn’t realise it was as serious as it was.

“He’s tried to overstretch to get on the end of a diagonal from Connor Ronan and something has went. He’s a big player for us so hopefully it’s nothing too serious.”

The unavailability of Jason Knight for the Azerbaijan game possibly aided McGrath’s cause and Kenny will be hoping the Derby midfielder is ok after he missed their draw with Coventry on Saturday with a muscle problem.

Robbie Brady can also operate in McGrath’s preferred position but he is still getting up to speed before he can play for his new club Bournemouth.

Michael Obafemi was a positive Irish weekend story, getting off the mark for Swansea in their Championship defeat to Birmingham in what was his first appearance since September 18.

Down in League One, James McClean continued his excellent form for new club Wigan by striking his fourth of the season in their victory at AFC Wimbledon.

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