James McCarthy emerges as doubt for Ireland-Wales

Everton midfielder was absent for the 3-0 win over West Brom

BY Raf Diallo 19:43 Saturday 11 March 2017, 19:43 11 Mar 2017

Everton's James McCarthy celebrates scoring his sides second goal with Romelu Lukaku (right) during the Premier League match at Goodison Park, Liverpool. Picture by Martin Rickett PA Wire/PA Images

James McCarthy has emerged an injury concern for Ireland ahead of the crucial 2018 World Cup qualifier against Wales on March 24th.

The Everton midfielder missed the Toffees' 3-0 Premier League win against West Brom on Saturday due to a fresh hamstring injury.

"James, again, he has some problems on his hamstring," said Everton manager Ronald Koeman, who explained that it flared up earlier in the week and that is likely to keep McCarthy out of action for one or two weeks.

Speaking to the club website after the match, Koeman continued: "It happened at the beginning of last week. It’s painful for him and also for me because I like him and we want to progress with him. But every time we do that he has to take a step back. It’s not a big hamstring injury - he will be out for one or two weeks - but I’m really disappointed about it."

Ireland's match against Wales in Dublin is just under two weeks away which would put the player's availability very much in the touch-and-go category.

Ireland manager Martin O'Neill is due to name his provisional squad for the game on Monday and McCarthy's inclusion or absence from that will give a clearer indication on the progress of the injury setback.

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